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An Account of some of the Steam-Boats navigating the Hudson 

River in the State of New York. In a Letter from Mr. Ren- 
wick, Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and 
Chemistry in Columbia College, to Captain Edward Sabine, 

R. A., Secretary of the Royal Society 1 

Communication on the Structure and Economy of the Greenland 
Whale, made at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. By J. 
Harwood, M.D. F.R.S., &c. . . . .10 

On the Inland Navigation of the United States of America, 
PartlL . . . . . .24 

On Malaria on Ship-board. By Dr. Mac Culloch . . 38 

Lineaments of Leanness. By William Wadd, Esq., F.L.S. . 76 

On the Curative Influence of the Southern Coast of England, 
especially that of Hastings. By William Harwood, M.D. 
reviewed . . . . , ,85 

On Ornamental Aviaries .• • • ,100 

Observations on the Force of our Ships of War , .108 

An Account of a New Genus of Plants called Diplogenea. By 
John Lindley, Esq. F.R.S., &c. . . .121 

A Dissertation on the Nature and Properties of the Malvern 
Waters, reviewed. By W. Addison, Surgeon . .123 

On Mr. Ivory's Investigations of the Velocity of Sound. By 

Mr. Henry Meikle . . . .124 

Description of a Regulating Valve for a Gas Establishment . 135 
Transactions of the Horticultural Society. Vol. vii. Part II. . 138 

An Attempt to prove that Ava was the Ophir of Solomon. By 

John Ranking, Esq. . , . . .141 

On the Sap of the Rose Tree, Communicated by R. Addams, Esq. 147 

Statistical Notices suggested by the Actual State of the British 
Empire, as exhibited in the last Population Census. By 
Mr. Merritt . . . • • 150 


Proceedings of the Horticultural Society , • 

Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 

i. Elementary View of the Undulatory Theory of Light. By 
M. Fresnel ..... 

ii. Principal Lunar Occnltations of the fixed Stars, in the 
months of November and December, 1828, and January, 
1829, calculated for the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. 
By I. Hendsrson, Esq. . * 





I. Mechanical Science. 


1 TuUey'a New Catadioptric 

Microscopes 193 

2 Carpenter's Aplanatic Solar 

Microscope 194 

3 Improvement in the Barometer 195 

4 Effect of the Moon upon Baro- 

metric Pressure ib. 

5 On the Arrangement of Water 

Pipes in the Streets 196. 

C New Razor Straps 197 

7 On the Fusion of Tallow ib, 

8 Method of hardening Plaster 

Casts and Alabaster 198 

9 Injurious Colours ib. 

10 Method of preventing Milk 

from turning sour 199 

11 Internal change in the Po- 

sition of Particles in Solids . . ib. 

II. Chemical Science. 

1 Conducting Power of Metals 

for Electricity 199 

2 Conducting Power of different 

Fluids for Voltaic Electricity 200 

3 Influence over the Electric 

Powers of Metals ib. 

4 On the secondary Piles of 

Ritter ib. 

5 Comparison of the Tourmaline 

and bad electro-conductors ... 201 
(i Electro-magnetic Current from 
heated fluids 202 

7 Purity of Metals tested by the 

Galvanometer 203 

8 Construction of Magnetic 

Needles.. ii. 

D Alteration of Brass Wire in 
the Air 204 

10 New Solar Phosphor! ib. 

11 Preparation of Iodine 205 

12 Action of Ammonia on heated 

Metals ib. 

13 IMethod of collecting Air for 

Analysis 20G 

14 On the Hypo-phosphites ib. 

15 OuPyrophorus 207 

16 Test of Potash by Nickel, 

before the blow-pipe 209 

17 New Variety of Borax ib, 

18 Mutual Action of Nitre and 

Sal- Ammoniac ib, 

19 Preparation and Properties of 

Aluminum, &c ib. 

20 Chloride of Glucinum 211 

21 Metallic Cerium ib, 

22 Use of Chameleon Mineral for 

marking Linen 212 

23 Reduction of Oxide of Copper 

by Ii'on and Water 213 

24 Separation ofSilver and Copper ib, 

25 Solubility of Sulphate of Lead ib. 

26 Use of Red Sulphuret of Ar- 

senic, or Realgar, in dyeing ib, 

27 Opaque and Transpai-ent 

White Arsenic 214 

28 Reduction of Snlphuiiet of 

Arsenic ib, 

29 On a ne w use of the Chromate 

of Potash 215 

30 Chloride of Silver and Sodium 21G 

31 Nitrate and Sulphate of Am- 

monia and Silver ib. 




32 Artificial production of Ultra- 

marine ib. 

33 On an economical Method of 

dissolving Metals in Acids in 
the Manufacture of certain 
Metallic Salts 217 

34 Infusible Crucible 219 

35 Sugar of Liquorice ib. 

36 On the Preparation of Tannin 220 

37 Vegetable Gelatine, and Albu- 

men > 221 


38 Preparation of Pi peri ne 221 

39 Substitute for the Sulphate of 

Quinia 222 

40 Citric Acid from Gooseberries ib. 

41 Nature of Aloetic Acid, or the 

Bitter of Aloes 223 

42 Preparation of Gallic Acid. . ib. 

43 Volatilization of Alcohol ib. 

44 Concentration of Alcohol by 

Animal Membrane 224 

45 Formation of Adipocire 225 

III. Natural History. 

1 Mean Height of the Inhabit- 

ants of Paris, &c 220 

2 Effects of the Tincture of Col- 

chicum Autumnale on the 
System ib. 

3 Gouty Inflammation cured by 

Vaccination 227 

4 Effect of Chlorine in Chronic 

affections of the Lungs ib. 

6 Sting of a Wasp ib. 

6 On Insects inclosed in Copal., ib. 

7 Reproduction and use of 

Leeches ... 228 

8 Red Viper of Dorsetshire ib. 

9 Destruction of Grasshoppers' 

Eggs 229 

10 Loss in weight of Meat during 

cooking ib. 

11 Living Giraffes in Europe ... ib. 

12 Easy Method of preserving 

small Birds ib. 

13 German Method of procuring 

Flowers in Winter ib. 

14 Chinese Method of Planting 

Branches 230 

15 On a Plant living entirely in 

the Air ib. 

10 Culture of Aquatic Plants in 

China 231 

17 Benzoic Acid in the Grasses., ib. 

18 Eradication of Meadow Saffron ib. 

19 Native Arseniuretted Iron ... ib. 

20 Muriate of Ammonia in Tur- 

kistan 232 

21 New Minerals containing Se- 

lenium ib, 

22 Common Salt on the Coast of 

Chili ib. 

23 Fall of an Aerolite and accom- 

panying Phenomena 233 

24 Meteor exhibiting a peculiar 

Green Colour " ib. 

25 On the ascent of the Jung 

Frau ib. 

26 Active ]\Iolecules in Organic 

and Inorganic bodies 235 

Meteorological Table for June, July, and August 



We have been favoured with Communications from Mr. Burnett, Mr, 
Kendal, and Mr. Jackson ; they reached us too late for publication in 
the present Number. 

We have seen Mr. Quarrill's new Table Lamp, and decidedly prefer it 
to any of its predecessors, as being perfectly sinumbral ; of an elegant 
form ; and, what is most important, simple in its construction and 
management. The want of a proper drawing and section has prevented 
our giving a more detailed description of it. 

Our Correspondent at Tringham has furnished us with nothing new. 

The Letter on Agricultural Chemistry is reserved. 

In the Table of Contents to our last Volume, the Title of the following 
Paper was accidentally omitted : — 

On the concealed Agency of Carbonic Acid in determining the 
Decomposition of Water by the Contact of Iron. By Marshall 
Hall, M. D., F. R. S. E., &c. ... 262 





An Account of some of the Steam-Boats navigating the Hudson 
River in the State of New York. In a Letter from Mr. 
Renwick, Professor of Natural and Experimental Philo- 
sophy and Chemistry in Columbia College, to Captain 
Edward Sabine, R.A., Secretary of the Royal Society. 

You ask of me some further particulars in relation to the steam- 
boats on the Hudson, that I mentioned to you as so remark- 
able for their speed. I shall endeavour to give you all the 
information on this subject that is in my power. 

Immediately upon the decision of the question between the re- 
presentatives of Chancellor Livingston and Fulton, and those who 
contended for a free navigation, by which decision the exclusive 
grant vested in the former by the State of New York was set 
aside, several companies undertook the construction of passage- 
boats propelled by steam. Two of these were mere copies of 
the boats of Fulton, but lighter in frame, and propelled by 
engines more powerful in proportion ; they, therefore, exceeded 
the boats of the old company in speed. Two others were con- 
structed princi[)ally for the purpose of towing each a large pas- 
sage-boat. These were fitted up in a splendid manner ; and, 
from the comparative safety and comfort which they afforded, 
it was the general anticipation that they must obtain a prefer- 
ence. Various other boats, from other lines of communication, 
were also put upon the river ; but no expectation seems to have 
existed at first, that it would be possible to make the passage to 

JULY—SEPT. 1828. B 

2 Account of Steam-boats 

or from Albany between sunrise and sunset. All these boats 
were upon the low pressure principle, with condensing engines 
differing only in detail from the double engine of Watt. 

Many months, however, had not elapsed, before an attempt 
was made to shorten the passage by the employment of more 
powerful means of propulsion. A boat was constructed upon 
a model apparently well adapted for quickness, being very 
similar to that of a fast sailing ship. This boat was furnished 
with an engine on the plan of Woolf, with two cylinders, one 
of which acted by high pressure, the other receiving steam of 
the first, as a condensing engine. This vessel, it was hoped 
by the proprietors, would be able to perform the passage be- 
tween New York and Albany in about twelve hours. She did 
not, however, succeed in this ; her average passages being at 
least sixteen hours. A similar attempt was made by means of 
a boiler generating high steam, communicating with a cylinder 
of more than the usual length, and acting then by its expan- 
sion ; the steam being afterwards condensed. This boat also 
failed in realizing the anticipations of its proprietors. 

The competition produced by the increased number of steam- 
boats, all of them much less costly than the boats of the Fulton 
company, had such an effect upon the price of the passage, that 
that association could no longer continue the contest ; its boats 
were therefore withdrawn, and sold to persons who have applied- 
them to other objects. When the representatives of Fulton 
had thus withdrawn from the contest, the Messrs. Stevens, sons 
of one of the original researchers for the method of propelling 
boats by steam, entered into the competition. These gentlemen 
had hitherto kept aloof from it, from highly honourable and deli- 
cate feelings, being unwilling to assist in destroying the prospects 
of the heirs and other representatives of Livingston and Fulton. 
When, however, they found that this company had abandoned 
the hope of maintaining a successful competition, and had 
withdrawn their boats, they felt no longer precluded from avail- 
ing themselves of a privilege, now opened to all. Their first 
step was to bring round from Philadelphia a new vessel they 
had constructed there for the navigation of the Delaware. 
Upon that river no exclusive privilege had ever existed, and. 

navigating the Hudson River, 3 

hence had arisen a continual trial of skill in the increase of the 
speed of steam-boats. This vessel, on trial, was found to be 
superior to any that had been before constructed. Placed 
upon the Hudson, the passage to Albany was readily made by 
her in the average space of fourteen hours. Leaving either 
place at sunrise, the distance was therefore performed during 
the summer season, before the daylight ended. 

The introduction of this boat caused a complete change in 
the plan of travelling, which, instead of being principally per- 
formed during the night, was now rendered practicable during 
the day ; a change extremely agreeable to voyagers in pursuit 
of pleasure, and convenient to men of business from its rapidity. 

Some of the improvements in this boat I shall particularize 
when I speak of the last and most perfect boat of the same 

Contemporaneous with the introduction of this vessel upon 
the Hudson, the same gentlemen commenced the construction 
of another, upon nearly the same model, but with an engine of 
greater proportionate power. A faulty casting, however, ren- 
dered the engine incapable of working as well as it ought to 
have done, and no increase of speed was at first obtained. 

For. my own part, I must confess that I had come to the 
conclusion, that the speed now obtained was probably the 
maximum. I founded this opinion on the fact, that a wave 
unexampled in any former case was raised in front of these 
rapidly moving boats. The theory of Juan, showing that this 
cause of resistance, although insensible at slow velocities, in- 
creases with their fourth power, pointed out a final limit to the 
attainable speed. That the maximum was reached, I inferred 
from the fact that the second boat, although propelled by a 
more powerful engine, was not more rapid in her motion than 
the first. I was unaware at the time of the faulty part of the 
engine ; but that I was in some measure correct is shown from 
the fact, that although the engine has been since put in perfect 
order, the acceleration bears but a small proportion to the 
difference of power. 

Mr. Robert L. Stevens, however, viewed the subject in 
another light. Aware of the resistance growing out of the 

B 2 

4. Account of Steam-boats 

wave, he did not consider it insuperable, but conceived that, by 
a change in the figure of the prow, it might be in a great mea- 
sure removed. The shape of the bow of the boats I have men- 
tioned, departed in some degree from that formerly employed. 
Mr. Fulton, in his earlier boats, had employed flat bottoms, 
and prows nearly of the shape of a wedge with plane surfaces. 
I recollect, even at that early date, having combated the pro- 
priety of this plan in a conversation I had with him. The 
changes that he and his imitators subsequently made, were, 
however, rather grounded upon the necessity of increasing the 
strength of the vessels by regular curves in their moulds, than 
from a conviction of the error in the principle. The last boats 
built under his own directions, resembled in form vessels in- 
tended to be propelled by sails, but of a small draught of water. 

Mr. Stevens, from experience, and a just view of the princi- 
ples, was led to a different conclusion ; and hence the stem of his 
vessels, which, above the water line, had the usual rake and 
curvature, began there to incline much more rapidly towards the 
plane of the keel than is usual, and thus the entrance of the 
vessel into the water partook at least as much of the inclined 
plane as of the wedge. But the change of form was too abrupt, 
and hence the enhanced height of the wave raised by a rapid 

In this state of the case, he instituted a set of experiments 
on the motion of figures of different forms through the water, 
at different velocities. The results of these, as he has stated 
them to me, are curious. The most remarkable is, that differ- 
ent forms are different in their good properties at different ve- 
locities. Upon the basis of these experiments, he commenced 
the building of a third boat, which I shall now proceed to de- 
scribe to you. 

The extreme length of this vessel (the North America) upon 
deck is 178 feet ; her breadth of beam 28 feet ; the depth of 
hold 9 feet. Her general figure I cannot better describe to you 
than by comparing it to the bowl of a table-spoon. The cut- 
water has a great rake, but in a uniform and regular curve ; 
and all the curves upon the bottom are regular, and without 
finy abrupt angles. The sternpost, to increase the power of 

navigating the Hudson River, 5 

the rudder, is vertical ; an unusually large mass of dead wood 
therefore exists towards the stern, while there is but little near 
the bow. I have not considered it proper to apply to Mr. 
Stevens for a draught of the hull of this vessel, as it would be 
unfair to ask him to disclose what is his only safety from the 
imitation of his competitors. The North America is impelled 
by two condensing engines, each of the estimated power of 85 
horses. These, with the boilers, are placed upon a platform, formed 
by a prolongation of the beams of the deck, until they meet the 
wheel guards, which are carried in a regular sweep from the 
stem to the stern of the vessel. The breadth of the deck, afore 
and a])aft the buildings which inclose the wheels and machinery, 
is therefore considerably increased^ while an uninterrupted pas- 
sage is left between them from the stem to the stern of the 
vessel. An advantage similar to the last is gained in the cabins 
beneath, which, by opening folding doors, may be thrown into 
one suite from the cabin windows to the bow. 

The wheels are 13 J feet in breadth, and 21 feet in diameter. 
There is a peculiarity in their construction which I conceive to 
be one of the most important of the improvements for which 
steam navigation is indebted to Mr. Stevens. Experience had 
shown that a multiplication in the number of paddles (as is the 
case in an undershot water-wheel, and is there of value) is 
injurious in a steam-boat. The best arrangement is, that 
when one paddle is vertical, the preceding one shall be just 
quitting the water, and the succeeding entering it; in this 
way no more than two paddles can be in the water at a time, 
while a water-wheel works best when there may be four. 
There appears to me to be an obvious reason for the difference 
between a wheel propelled by a water-fall, and one acting upon 
water as a resistance to propel a vessel. In the first case it 
is advantageous to check the forward motion of the water ; in 
the second, the paddle will act with most power upon water at 
rest, with respect to the surrounding mass. Now the more 
numerous the paddles, the greater the agitation that is pro- 
duced ; and each will in succession strike on water following 
in the wake of that which has preceded it, and which there- 
fore acts as a less powerful resistance. But the paddles strike 

B Account of Steam-boats 

the water obliquely, instead of entering edge-wise. Each, 
therefore, meets a sudden resistance, that reacts as a shock 
upon the engine ; and, in a small number of paddles, these 
shocks are not only greater, but, being less frequent, oppose a 
much more unequal action to the moving power. Both the 
boat and engine have been found to suffer extremely from this 
cause. I have been informed that it has been corrected in 
England, by inclining the plane of the paddle to the axis of the 
wheel, so that the edge of the blade enters the water first at 
one corner, and is immersed gradually. But in this construc- 
tion the force is exerted obliquely, and constantly to a disad- 
vantage ; much power will therefore be lost. 

To understand the improvement of Mr. Stevens, you have 
only to consider the water-wheel to be sawn into three parts, 
one of these to be removed back one-third, and another two- 
thirds of the distance between the original place of the first 
paddle and that which succeeds it. The water-wheel may, 
therefore, be considered as triple ; and as each paddle will form 
a wake little broader than itself, those of each separate wheel 
will strike upon water at rest, in relation to the surrounding 
fluid. The force of the blow is, however, but one-third of 
what it is in a continuous paddle, and the succession so rapid 
as to oppose almost a constant resistance to the engine. Such 
a wheel, therefore, so far from rendering the motion irregular, 
acts as a fly, and that part of the machinery, of such vital 
importance in the boats of Fulton, is entirely omitted in those 
of Stevens. 

. Of the engines by which this boat is propelled, I have little 
to say : they are, in almost every respect, identical with the 
engine of Watt. But one essential difference, that I have 
noted, is, that the air-pump has more power than is usual. It 
will therefore keep up a vacuum in the condenser, even when 
the steam has a greater pressure than is usual in engines in 
ordinary situations. In the boats of the Fulton company it 
occasionally happened that, in anxiety to obtain speed, the 
steam-gauge was permitted to rise to 15 inches. This did 
not, however, cause an increase of power at all proportioned to 
t^e increased pressure ; for an air-pump of the proportions of 

namgating the Hudson River, 9 

Watt's engines was not sufficient to free the condenser from 
steam, and maintain a proper vacuum. In order to be pro- 
vided for such a case, Mr. Stevens makes, as 1 have stated, his 
air-pump of greater power. In the North America, however, 
it has been unnecessary to employ it, for in two passages I 
have made in her, (one of them the most rapid she ever per- 
formed,) the steam-gauge never rose above eight inches. Nor 
do I consider that she has ever yet been brought up to her 
greatest speed, as even with this comparatively low pressure 
the steam was cut off at the half-stroke, and permitted to act 
by its expansive force. Mr. Stevens, I believe, is of opinion, 
that the boilers are sufficient to supply steam of 12 or 14 
inches during the entire stroke of the engine, while the air- 
pump has power to maintain, at the same time, a vacuum in 
the condenser. If this be so, the speed may be enhanced, as 
the wave, that is at present raised in front of the boat, is even 
less than I have noticed it in front of others of not more than 
half the speed. 

The boilers in all the boats of Stevens, as in those of Fulton, 
are of copper ; and I do not apprehend that, with the highest 
pressure that can be given them, any danger is to be feared by 
the passengers. I do not consider that this is the case with 
any high-pressure boilers. The truth is, that both are liable 
to burst, from the natural imperfection of materials and work- 
manship. In the case of a boiler, where the material, suppos- 
ing the safety-valve to be fastened down, will not bear an 
internal pressure of more than 8 or 10 pounds to the square 
inch (marked by from 16 to 20 inches of the steam-gauge), 
a small vent will discharge the steam, whose expansive force is 
far from excessive, while the temperature of the water is not 
such as to augment the volume of steam in any great degree. 
But when the pressure amounts to 60 or 70 pounds on the inch, 
and the boiler is proved to bear lOOlbs., as in our high-pres- 
sure engines, no sooner is a vent given than the whole of the 
contained water is converted into steam, whicR expands itself 
with explosive violence. a'*^ 

I have to note another variation in the engines of the North 
America from those of Watt : it consists in the suppres 

8 Account of Steam-boats 

sion of the parallel motion. The upper end of the piston-rod 
bears a cross bar, which works between guides formed of iron 
plates, screwed down upon upright posts. If nothing be gained 
in the working of the engine, much is in the fitting it up; 
for the parallel motion, of all parts of the engine, requires per- 
haps the most accurate workmanship. 

The external appearance of the engines of the North Ame- 
rica is less finished than the better class of English engines. 
There is, however, no real inferiority. The castings, made at 
the Westpoint foundery, are excellent ; the boring of the cylinder 
and air-pump is perfect, and the fitting up. performed under the 
immediate direction of Mr. Robert L. Stevens, is not to be ex- 
ceeded. I mention this, because the only specimen of an 
American steam-boat that has yet reached Europe, was most 
deficient in all these particulars. That vessel was, however, 
in every respect, far behind the better class of our steam- 
boats, even at that distant period (1816), and vastly inferior 
to those which are now constructed. 

In our boats intended for the navigation of rivers, several 
points necessary to be observed in those intended for the ocean, 
may be omitted. It is, for instance, unnecessary that the 
engine should work under deck. Hence in all our engines the 
length of the stroke is greater than those described to me in the 
English steam-boats ; in the latter, also, the position of boilers, 
and even of the engine, upon the wheel-guards, would be im- 
proper, and thus much of the comfort, that this plan affords to 
the passengers in the North America, would be unattainable. 
As the steam-boats on the Hudson never make use of sails, 
and as the waves rarely run high, every other property of a 
vessel for navigating the ocean, except stability (for instance, 
the capability of holding close to the wind), may be neglected, 
in the search for the prow of least resistance. 

In the steam-boats on Fulton's plan the engine varies 
from those of Watt, and consequently from those of Ste- 
vens, in the suppression of the working beam ; the reciprocat- 
ing rectilineal motion of the piston-rod is changed into circu- 
lar by means of two connecting rods, attached to a cross bar 
upon the top of the piston-rod ; these take hold of cranks, or 

namgating the Hudson Rwer^ '"9 

rather ecceniric pins, in wheels upon the axes of the water- 
wheels. This plan has the disadvantage, that more power is 
lost by obliquity of action, than when a lever-beam and a 
connecting rod are used, as in the engine of Watt. When it 
is used in the body of the vessel, it has the advantage of com- 
pactness, occupying far less room. 

In order to give you a proper idea of the velocity of the 
North America, some other circumstances require to be stated. 
The distance from New York to Albany has usually been esti- 
mated at 160 miles ; the post-road between the two places is 
little less than this, as has been found by a recent measure- 
ment performed by the post-office department. It is, how- 
ever, alleged, that the course on the river is not so much, and 
the surveyor-general of our state has recently published a state- 
ment of actual surveys on the river, that reduce it to less than 
150. These, however, are the shortest possible lines that can 
be drawn from point to point over the several reaches. As 
steam-boats cannot follow these lines, but frequently cross the 
river to stop at landings, I cannot consider the actual distance 
as less than the first estimate ; I shall, however, assume it to 
be 154 miles. The average passages of the North America 
for the last year, including stoppages, were performed in less 
than twelve hours ; on one occasion in little more than ten. 
The delay at nine stated landings cannot be taken at less than 
an hour, which leaves eleven hours for a distance of 154 miles, 
or 14 miles per hour. As this average is taken from passages 
both up and down the river, any difference arising from the 
different rate of the flood and ebb tides, which at some sea- 
sons is perceptible, and any effect of current whatever, may be 
left out of view, and fourteen miles per hour be taken as her 
average speed through the water. 

# ^ * » * * 

to l^ruciure and Economy 

Communication on the Structure and Economy of the Green- 
land Whale, made at the Royal Institution of Great 
Britain. By J. Harwood, M.D. F.R.S., Professor of 
Natural History in the Royal Institution. 

This discourse was illustrated by means of a veiy extensive series of 
specimens, &c. 

There is, perhaps, no part of the history of the animal world 
which is less generally known^ to those who have not devoted 
particular attention to Zoology, than that of the Cetacea ; nor 
certainly is there any, more justly entitled to our considera- 
tion, from the sublime examples which this tribe affords of 
Creative wisdom and power. I have, therefore, chosen the 
Greenland whale for our consideration this evening, because 
no individual can be expected to offer for our contemplation, 
more impressive illustrations of the Creator's attributes, than 
this stupendous piece of animal mechanism ; and, especially, 
when, not contented with understanding its mere distinctive 
characters, we regard those conditions in its existence, and 
those curious modifications in structure, which have adapted 
its ponderous bulk to a medium, whose specific gravity is so 
like unto its own, and which afford to its progressive motion 
the widest geographical range. 

Although our yearly intercourse with the cetacea during 
some centuries, has, in modern times, materially extended our 
knowledge of this gigantic race of beings, we should greatly 
err in supposing, that their remarkable submarine habits and 
economy escaped the attention of the observers of antiquity ; 
and it would be an injustice to the memory of so true a philo- 
sopher as Aristotle, were I now to omit to mention, that the 
interest which was excited in his capacious mind by the won- 
derful characters of cetaceous animals, conducted him to a 
knowledge of the nature of these creatures, which is calculated 
greatly to excite the surprise of those naturalists whose oppor- 
tunities of investigation have even been the most extended. 

I shall, therefore, notice a few of his observations concerning 
them, which may prove interesting, from their accuracy, from 
their antiquity, and from the infant state of natural science at 
the period in which they were written. 

of the Greenland WtiaU. II 

** There are," he says, ** some animals, which receive and 
return the water, for the same reason, as others which respire, 
receive and return the air:'* — here he of course alludes to 
fishes, which, in the act of respiration, receive the water through 
the mouth by the expansibility of their fauces, and return it 
through the beautiful laminated surfaces of their breathing 
organs, or gills : — '* but there are others," he adds, '' which 
do so," that is, receive and return the water, *' on account of 
the nourishment contained within it; and, since they receive 
their food in water, it is necessary that they should have an 
organ by which the latter (the water) may be returned or 
ejected; such animals, therefore, which employ the water in a 
manner analogous to respiration, have gills; but those san- 
guineous (warm-blooded) animals, which employ the water on 
account of the food it contains, have spiracles, or blow-holes.'^ 
This, it will be observed, is a very interesting distinction be- 
tween the fishes, and the creatures on which we are now treating, 

Aristotle's observations on the sense of hearing, and on the 
voice of these animals, are also highly philosophical ; after 
showing the incompatibility of voice with the structure of 
fishes, allowing, however, that many do produce certain sounds, 
he adds, in regard to the cetacea, ** the dolphin likewise pro- 
duces a stridulous sound, and murmurs when he comes into 
the air ; yet not like these fishes, for the sound emitted by the 
dolphin is voice, since he possesses lungs and an air tube^ 
although he cannot produce articulate voice ; " and again, he 
says, in regard to his respiration, ** when caught in nets, he is 
soon suffocated, in consequence of not respiring, although out 
of water he lives a long time, murmuring, and making sounds 
analogous to those of other animals which respire air." 

After these and many other equally admirable observa-* 
tions on the part of Aristotle, it appears surprising that the 
cetaceous animals should ever have been erroneously asso- 
ciated with fishes in the works of more recent naturalists, from 
their mere possession of a fish-like form, and the consequent 
absence of hinder limbs; conditions which are rendered neces- 
sary by their fish-like progression. 

Yet not only Ray and Willoughby, but even Linneus, in his 
earlier works, improperly placed them at the head of that class. 

12 Struciufe and Economy 

Linneus, however, afterwards followed Aristotle, in justly 
considering them as a tribe of creatures which resembled 
quadrupeds in disguise ; since, unlike fishes, they not only, as 
we have seen, breathe the air by means of true lungs, but 
they closely resemble quadrupeds in much of their general 
construction, in their manners, in their intelligence, and in the 
energy of their senses. Their hearts, also, which propel warm, 
red blood, present no material modification in their structure 
from those of quadrupeds. Their other viscera somewhat 
resemble those of the ruminantia, and the size of their brain 
often even exceeds that of the generality of the mammalia. 

Being, therefore, mammalia in their economy and their struc- 
ture, they, in fact, only resemble fishes in inhabiting the same 
element, and in possessing that external fish-like form, which, 
being the best adapted for aquatic avocations, necessarily oc- 
casions differences in the details of their internal structure. 
The most obvious and striking peculiarities, which first attract 
our notice in the skeleton of the cetacea, are the enormous 
size of the head, in the whales ; the almost entire absence of 
neck ; the length and similarity of the bones of the spine ; 
their ribs being comparatively few in number ; the shortness 
of their arms ; and the absence of hinder extremities, an os 
sacrum, and a true pelvis. Whales have, nevertheless, the ru- 
diments of the latter, although the two bones which represent 
it, neither unite before, nor are they attached to the vertebrae. 

The excessive shortness of their necks, although composed, 
generally, of only one bone less than the longest neck of a 
quadruped — as that of the giraffe, for example — renders any 
separate motion of their heads almost impossible, since the 
bones of the neck of the whale kind are excessively thin, and 
immoveably joined together. This, I am disposed to consider 
as a condition favourable to rapid progression, as that of birds 
is assisted by the immoveable state of the spine of the back, 
by which their centre of gravity is rendered less liable to be 
varied, and their bodies to be thrown out of equilibrium 
during their rapid flight ; for, did the spine of the back of a 
bird possess great flexibility, its centre of gravity would be 
probably changed by every extra effort of either wing ; and to 
counteract the same tendency, therefore, the necks of whales 

of the Greenland Whale, l3 

and of fishes have, probably, been rendered equally im- 

The Greenland whale may, I think, be considered as typical 
of the order cetacea, a tribe of creatures which, unlike fishes, 
generally possess only two fins, with the exception of the tail ; 
and, although some species possess a third fin, on their backs, 
this latter possesses no bone in its composition ; so beautifully 
is the analogy preserved between these animals and the rest 
of the class mammalia to which they belong. When, indeed, 
we examine the cetacea more critically, we find that these 
instruments, which present the external appearance of breast 
fins, by means of which they sustain their equilibrium, and 
perform gentle motions, owe their present fin-like form simply 
to the covering with which they are invested ; for, instead of 
being composed of straight spines, like those of fishes, they 
conceal bones and muscles, formed very like those of the fore 
legs of land quadrupeds ; but their hand alone appears ex- 
ternally, and we see it so enveloped in dense skin, that its 
fingers have no separate motion. But, as the several bones 
of the fingers are united together by means of intermediate 
cartilages instead of capsular ligaments, the fins, or, more 
strictly, the hands, possess great pliancy and strength, and 
enable the whale kind to spread them upon their sides, and on 
the breast; and, as Aristotle observed, in this way, to sustain 
their young beneath them, closely compressed to their bodies. 

The fin, or hand of the common whale, is flat, and of much 
greater proportionate size than in many other cetaceous ani- 
mals, which extension of the organs of equilibrium appears 
to have been required to compensate for the more unwieldy 
construction of the body of the creature. Yet, from the struc- 
ture of the true and finely organised hand of the ape tribe, 
to the rude fin of the whale, we perceive no abrupt progres- 
sion ; since the fore extremities of the amphibious mammalia 
are precisely intermediate in their formation. 

These beautiful gradations in organization afford some of 
the most interesting and apparent exhibitions of intention or 
design, which are presented to our notice in surveying the 
animal world ; we may trace the gradual conversion of the 
hand or fore foot of- the terrestrial quadrupeds into the.fiu of 

J4 Structure and Economy 

the whale, most obviously, by commencing with such quad- 
rupeds as only occasionally frequent the water, in which the 
^n or web between the toes is short and imperfect ; and thence 
proceeding in our examination, successively, through the 
otters, seals, walrus, the manati, dugongs, to, lastly, the 
>vhales, in which all the external appearance of a true hand is 
lost, though, internally, its structure yet identifies the fin with 
this organ. 

The tail of a large whale measures about twenty-five feet 
across. It is composed of several layers of tendinous fibres, 
strongly matted together within an oily membrane ; which 
structure imparts to it immense mechanical strength : it is 
also flattened horizontally, for the purpose of frequently and 
suddenly forcing the creature to the surface of the water to 
breathe ; while the tails of fishes, on the contrary, are formed 
vertically, because their actions being performed chiefly in the 
depths, they do not require to rise frequently to the surface. 
But, in the whale, the tail, which is moved by immense de- 
pressor or flexor muscles, which are inserted into it, and form 
two large ridges beneath the body, becomes, from its enormous 
size and power, the most destructive instrument of defence 
with which any animal has been gifted. When whales are 
feeding near the surface of the water, this instrument acts 
with comparatively little force ; for their hands or breast-fins 
are almost sufficient alone, to modify the movements of their 
bodies, and thus they swim slowly backwards and forwards, 
with the mouth generally wide open, and rise at each extre- 
mity of their short course to breathe. In playing on the 
surface, they also move in circles, and, occasionally, with the 
agility of the salmon, they may be seen to elevate their vast 
bulk almost out of the water ; but, when the violent impulse 
by the tail, necessary to such an action, is differently directed, 
they dart like an arrow downwards into unfathomable depths, 
or, they rapidly extend their progress over vast tracts of the 
earth's surface. 

But while we contemplate with surprise the voluntary powers 
of this creature in its native element, how great is our amaze- 
ment in regarding the invohmtary muscular efforts of its heart 
and arterial system ! Mr. Hunter having first informed us, that 

of the Greenland Whale. 15 

l^e found the principal artery of the body to measure n6t less 
than three feet in circumference, and that it received from ten 
to fifteen gallons of blood at every pulsation of the heart. 
Therefore, as Dr. Kidd has observed, if we consider the heart 
of the whale not to exceed twenty pulsations per minute, at 
this rate of fifteen gallons received by the artery at every pul- 
iation, we find, that not less a quantity than four hundred and 
thirty-two thousand gallons, or eight thousand hogsheads of 
blood, do literally pass through the heart of a whale during 
every twenty-four hours of the creature's existence. 

I may, however, observe, that my friend. Dr. James Alder- 
son, who has more recently had an opportunity of examining 
the heart of the same species of whale as the one to which Mr. 
Hunter alluded, although he found the aorta to be of equal 
size, supposes that the capacity of the left ventricle was not 
equal to the reception of more than eight or ten gallons of 

The heart of the whale, although much flattened, presents, 
otherwise, no important deviation in its structure from that of 
terrestrial quadrupeds ; but, like that of other diving mammalia^ 
and of the seals which I described on a former occasion, it is 
connected with an enormous development in the arterial and 
venous systems, in order to preserve it free from the oppres- 
sion which would otherwise be occasioned by the returning 
blood ; thereby to extend the intervals between respiration : 
to this end, the vessels, in various parts of the body, as Mr. 
Hunter observed, form, by their innumerable tortuous subdivi- 
sions, vast spongy receptacles ; and, in other situations, the 
trunks themselves seem to be proportionately much enlarged. 
The proportionate quantity, also, of blood, in the whale, as in 
the seal, appears to be far greater than in land animals, which 
is, indeed, the case in all the aquatic mammalia. 

I recollect having been surprised by an observation of an 
old Greenland captain, that the blood of all the animals of 
high northern latitudes was of a much darker colour than in 
those of more southern regions ; it being, he remarked, in many, 
almost black ; he alluded, especially, to the aquatic mammalia, 
which fell most under his observation, and such is literally the 
case in them. I have since observed the same fact to obtain 

16 Structure and Economy 

scarcely less in the diving birds ; and it is, perhaps, occasioned 
by the slow return of the venous blood to the heart, during fre- 
quent submersion, by which it probably acquires a superabun- 
dance, or an extra quantity of carbon. In ourselves, it may be 
added, that the same appearance of the blood is produced, by 
artificially arresting its progress in the veins ; and that which is 
slowly drawn from the arm is, on the same principle, much 
darker than that which flows freely ; a circumstance, even to the 
present day, often erroneously attributed to a morbid state of 
that fluid. 

I shall now endeavour to describe to you another interesting 
peculiarity in the whale tribes. Beneath their smooth skins, the 
bodies of these animals are well known to be surrounded by an 
enormously thick membrane, which contains a prodigious quan- 
tity of fluid oil. This fluid oil, in like manner, pervades every 
part of the substance of their bones, which, milike those of 
quadrupeds, are not hollow, but entirely spongy or cellular. 

The blubber, or membrane, which contains the oil, varies, in 
the common whale, in its depth ; it is two feet thick in several 
situations, especially across the back of the neck ; but it even 
extends to three feet in thickness in the lip, near the angle of 
the mouth. It is comparatively the most abundant, and the 
oil is of the finest quality in young whales ; hence, a sucking 
whale of nineteen feet long, and fourteen in circumference, has 
been known to yield six tons of oil, although its whalebone was 
not one foot in length, and far too short to enable it to catch 
food. In young whales, also, the blubber is almost white ; in 
others it is found of a yellowish colour ; and in some, appa- 
rently from their partaking of a peculiar kind of nourishment, 
it acquires almost the red appearance of the flesh of the salmon. 

The blubber may, I think, be considered as a less dense 
portion of the true skin, consisting, in fact, as I have often seen 
at Hull, of a strong tendinous membrane, whose fibres inter- 
weave each other in every direction, and which contain the oil 
within them ; but, when deprived of the oil, these fibres appear 
like an irregular network of tendon, differing in the fineness of 
its texture in different situations ; it being most compact, where 
itis nearest to the surface of the body, and decreasing in its den- 
sity as it dips downwards towards the muscles. In striking the 

of the Greenland Whale, 17 

back of the whale, therefore, the harpoon is plunged obliquely 
into this powerful tendinous network ; which generally holds it 
so firmly, that I believe it is almost as common for the well- 
tempered iron to be broken as to be withdrawn ; but, in de- 
stroying the creature, I may add, that its most mortal part, 
■where the lances are afterwards applied, is a little below, and 
posterior to the origin of the fin, where the heart and the larger 
vessels are situated. 

The greatest supply of oil, yielded by a single whale, of which 
I have been enabled to obtain a well-authenticated account, 
was the enormous quantity of one hundred and seventeen 
butts, or about forty-three tons, which was removed from a 
whale, struck by a person of the name of Pashby, who was 
liarpooner to the Fanny, whaler, of Hull ; and as the blubber 
is supposed to weigh about one-third of the whole, we here con- 
template an animal body weighing no less than one hundred 
and twenty-nine tons. 

Another whale, struck by a harpooner, from whom I 
received the account, yielded ninety-seven butts of blubber, 
and had whalebone which measured thirteen feet and a half in 
length, which is the length of the specimens of whalebone now 
before us ; forty butts of oil, however, are considered a good 
average produce. 

The necessity for this wonderful provision in the Greenland 
whale, to which I have last adverted, the abundance of its oil, 
is rendered more apparent, when it is known that the real spe- 
cific gravity of the muscles of this creature is rather greater 
than that of the muscles of quadrupeds ; but, by means of its 
oil, so nicely is its body balanced in the surrounding fluid, that 
it scarcely exceeds the specific gravity of the water. But this 
prodigious quantity of oil not only thus materially decreases its 
specific gravity, in which capacity it has been aptly compared 
to a cork-jacket, but it seems to have been intended as the 
most perfect of all the various kinds of clothing, with which the 
mammalia have been gifted ; for, being a very bad conductor 
away of heat, it thus preserves the warm bodies of the whale 
kind from becoming chilled by the low temperature of the sur- 
rounding fluid. In diving birds, it is no less interesting to ob- 
serve, that the same admirable precaution is had recourse to, 
JULY— SEPT. 1828. C 

18 Structure and Economy 

though in fishes, whose bodies have naturally a low tempe- 
rature, this being unnecessary, the oil is differently employed, 
and serves other interesting purposes in their economy. 

But the blubber further assists, by its elasticity, in preserving 
the smoothness and rotundity of the body of the whale kind, 
which animals, as we see, have not only been deprived of exter- 
jial ears, or of other external appendages, which would tend to 
impede their rapid progression, but even the mammae, instead 
of assuming their usual prominent form, are so flattened and ex- 
tended beneath the skin as scarcely to elevate the surface ; and 
on the same principle, the testes never descend from the lumbar 

I must now direct your attention to the very remarkable ex- 
terior clothing of the whale. It is, in the first place, a curious 
fact, and one which is, perhaps, peculiar to the tribe, that those 
parts of the skin which are exterior to the blubber, in a young 
whale, are twice as thick as they are found to be in the adult, 
having measured an inch and three quarters in thickness. 

Now these parts are generally called, from the analogy of 
their position only, I conceive, the cuticle, and the rete muco- 
sum ; to preserve which supposed analogy, anatomists are 
obliged to describe the rete mucosum of the whale as being 
three quarters of an inch in thickness. But after a careful ex- 
amination of the recent skin of cetaceous animals, I cannot 
help believing that there is no analogy whatsoever between this 
substance called rete mucosum, in whales, and that of terres- 
trial quadrupeds. It appears to me to be a substance of a na^ 
ture as peculiar to itself, as that of whalebone, or of ivory ; and it 
IS here, perhaps, destined to fulfil as peculiar a part in the ani- 
mal economy, as those substances. It is of a dark colour 
throughout ; it takes its origin from the outer surface, and, 
consequently, from the most dense portion of the true skin ; 
it is of a sub-corneous texture, and consists of a dense congeries 
of parallel vertical filaments, having a great degree of elasticity. 
Immediately beneath the inferior surface of this substance, 
there is a black slimy fluid which is easily separated, and which 
is, perhaps, the only vestige of rete mucosum ; and this sub- 
stance is covered, externally, with a thin, smooth, black cuticle, 
which is easily split into detached horizontal laminae. 

of the Greenland Whale. 19 

The whale, then, has the blubber, which I consider to be the 
true skin and the cellular membrane united ; a very indistinct 
rete mucosum ; and, above this, a firm elastic substance, re- 
sembling a second cuticle, with vertical fibres ; and which is 
itself covered by a common cuticle, having horizontal laminae. 

Whether this substance, just noticed, possesses sensation or 
otherwise, I have not been enabled to determine, but I could 
perceive no nervous filaments or blood-vessels, to enter its 
structure, either in that of the whale or sea unicorn, when placed 
under a high magnifying power ; it is, therefore, probably, in- 
sensible. The blubber, on the contrary, or the true skin, from 
its vascular and nervous organization, is, doubtless, highly en- 
dowed with sensibility. Thus constructed, the skin of the 
whale is, as before-mentioned, pecuUarly soft, smooth, and 
flexible; and although, as Mr. Scoresbyhas observed, the pres- 
sure to which it is liable in the depths of the ocean, is sufficient 
to force water through the pores of the hardest wood, yet its 
inherent qualities render it impermeable to the action of that 
fluid. All these parts of the external clothing are so pervaded 
with oil, that the latter affords nourishment to several species 
of small marine animals, which are generally found adhering to 
the skin ; and in those parts of the seas where whales abound, 
an oily exudation floats on the surface of the water. 

On such a scale of dimensions has the Creator been pleased 
to construct the Greenland whale, that I have myself seen jaw- 
bones of this animal, which have measured twenty feet in 
length ; what is called a double oyster-barrel, appears to me to 
convey the most accurate idea of the size of some of its ver- 
tebrae. Its tongue, which is of an oval form, is sufficiently 
large to fill four butts, when cut into pieces, or to weigh two 
tons ; and to yield one hundred and twenty-six gallons of oil. 
Of so enormous a size are its lips, and so much do they abound 
in blubber, that one alone has aftbrded sufficient of the latter 
to yield four butts, or two tons of pure oil ; and you are aware 
that the body of this creature acquires from fifty to seventy 
feet in length. 

The velocity of motion, possessed by so huge a body as that 
of the common whale, has always been a source of astonish- 
ment ; but it is sufficiently obvious, that, having been destined 


20 Structure and Economy 

to inhabit depths so profound, and so far removed from the air 
it breathes, this velocity of motion was a condition necessary 
to its existence. 

It, however, very materially increases the danger attendant 
on its capture ; from the awful accident of a coil of the line of 
the descending struck whale, entangling itself around any part 
of the body of the manager of the line, while it is run out ; for, 
as the animal descends at the rate of from thirteen to fifteen 
feet per second, in this case, the individual so entangled be- 
comes immediately dragged to a depth from which he is never 
able again to rise to the surface ; and thus managers of the fine 
are sometimes snatched from boats with such instantaneous 
velocity, as to almost escape the notice of all present. 

That this species of whale is naturally very timid, is apparent 
from various circumstances. From the excessive fear into which 
it is thrown by the infliction of a wound, when reposing 
on the surface of the sea, it has, on several occasions, been 
known to descend with such incautious velocity, as to even 
fracture its massive jaw-bones, and occasion its death, by 
striking itself against rocks at the bottom. Nevertheless, when 
urged to resentment, which, as in all other animals, is most 
readily excited when under the powerful influence of parental 
attachment, the whale not unfrequently exhibits fatal illustra- 
tions of its tremendous muscular force. Thus, with the pos- 
terior half of its body quickly elevated above the water, it is 
enabled, with its broad semilunar tail, which has been seen to 
measure twenty-six feet in breadth, and one and a half in 
thickness, to instantaneously shatter to pieces a strong boat 
by a single blow. I have been assured by Captain Beadling, 
on whose word I have great reason fully to rely, that having 
once wounded a large whale, it instantly elevated its tail high 
above one of the boats, and struck it with such force as to com- 
pletely cleave it asunder transversely : the men it contained, 
by leaping into the water, were nevertheless all fortunately 
saved by a second boat. There is a poor crippled object now 
living at Hull, who was shown to me by Dr. Alderson ; he was 
formerly a boat steerer of the Diana, commanded by Captain 
Clifford, in which employment, a whale that was struck, ran 
out all the lines, and at a blow, clove the boat asunder, break- 

of the Greenland JVhale. 21 

ing the thigh, hip, leg, arm, three ribs, and the lower jaw of 
this poor man ; and, afterwards almost miraculously, dragged 
the extremity of the boat, in which he lay, seven leagues along 
the surface of the water, without sinking, within an hour and 
three quarters; when he was picked up by the Dundee of 
Dundee. This is, however, evidently, a yet more interesting 
illustration of the curative efforts of the system, in our own 
species, than even of the powers of offence in the whale. 

Another, and, perhaps, still more generally fatal mode of 
retaliation had recourse to by a wounded whale, especially if 
it be accompanied by a young one, although fortunately one 
of less frequent occurrence, consists in the creature tilting 
furiously, and with impetuous velocity, with the snout, against 
a boat, by which the latter becomes inevitably shivered to 
pieces and lost. When in the agonies of death also, by the 
rolling motion, which a whale often assumes, such blows have 
frequently been communicated to boats, by its widely extended 
fins, as to shiver them to pieces. 

The extreme fidelity of these wonderful animals towards 
each other, and their affection for their offspring, is almost 
incredible. So fondly attached are they to the society of their 
brethren, that many instances are recorded of their assuming 
a passive floating position, on the surface, after offering much 
resistance ; as though disdaining to survive the loss of their 
companions. Thus, when the Cyrus had captured six, out of 
a herd of seven whales, and they were supported around the 
vessel on the water, the surviving one rose, and thrust its head 
amongst its dead brethren, and remained immoveable, close to 
the vessel, while it was killed. 

In general, the female is accompanied in her progress by her 
young one, though, on the contrary, she sometimes wanders very 
far from it ; and yet, by some unknown impulse, highly calcu , 
lated to excite our amazement, she has no difficulty in finding it, 
though perfectly silent, in the vast and trackless ocean, as often 
as she requires ; and the same may be said of all the cetacea. 
But further, when her young one is hardest pursued and har- 
pooned, she supports it under her fin, while she plunges with 
it for safety into unfathomable depths. 

A young whale, having been struck by a harpoon from a 

22 Structure and Economy 

Hull vessel, being at the time at some distance from its 
mother, had run out some length of line, when the latter 
appeared in sight, and rapidly bent her course towards it. In 
vain did she use every usual means to induce it to leave the 
place of danger, while swimming by its side, as far as the line 
would allow, in circles around the boats, during the space of 
four hours ; and within this time, on four separate occasions, 
the parent was observed, when on the surface, to throw one of 
her fins over the body of the young whale, and to endeavour to 
drag it away by all the force she possessed ; she, lastly, in this 
way set off with it, in a straight direction, carrying away ad- 
ditional line, to the extent of seven hundred and twenty 
fathoms ; but by that time, the young one became so much ex- 
hausted from loss of blood, that she necessarily abandoned it to 
its fate, and herself escaped, by pursuing her progress towards 
the ice, roaring and spouting with great vehemence ; for here 
I may observe, that when a whale is struck with a harpoon, or 
is enraged by the loss of its young, it ejects the water through 
its spiracles with great force, producing a stridulous kind of 
roaring, which may be heard the distance of a mile. 

This species of whale affords to us a sublime instance of 
contrivance, compensating its total want of teeth. I allude to 
the hundreds of plates of whalebone, which cover the roof of 
its mouth ; and which, by their growth, increasing in length, 
and in breadth, often acquire twelve feet in length, and fifteen 
inches broad. There have, indeed, been some instances in 
which whalebone has attained fifteen feet in length ; I believe 
there is at present a specimen of this kind in the Tower, which 
was obtained by a London vessel, and, doubtless, from a whale 
of enormous growth ; since those whales, which afford whalebone 
of twelve feet, are themselves often more than sixty feet in 
length. The upper surface of the skull of a whale of this size, 
measured twenty feet eight inches long ; and the creature itself 
weighed upwards of a hundred tons. 

The roots of the two sides of the arch of whalebone, in the 
mouth of this animal, nearly meet at the top of the roof 
whence they grow, at the anterior part of the mouth ; but they 
gradually recede from each other, as they are continued back- 
wards, till they approach the throat, when they again approxi- 

of the Greenland Whale, J3 

mate. This substance, called whalebone, which thus supplies 
the place of teeth, consists of a peculiar kind of horn. Its 
plates differ in their length and strength, in different parts of 
the mouth, but the outer row of plates are by far the strongest 
and the longest, especially those which are midway between 
the throat and the snout. Internally, supposing ourselves to 
be placed beneath the roof, and regarding it from below, from 
the lower edges of the outer plates, (those which they inclose 
becoming shorter and shorter, as their origin is more internal, 
or nearer the centre of the roof,) we see the lower edges of all 
uniting to form one inclining plane, extending obliquely up- 
wards to the roof. And, as the fibres of every plate are loose 
and separate at its inferior edge, forming a deep pendent 
fringe, by the gradual splitting away of its substance in propor- 
tion as it is used, we perceive the entire vaulted sides of the 
roof of the mouth to be, in fact, by these means, deeply lined 
with a clothing of thick and coarse hair, whence the ancients 
gave to this species of whale the name of Mysticetus. 

Now, beneath this vault of hair, lies the enormous tongue of 
the whale, and exterior to it, is the immensely high lower lip, 
which, when the jaws are closed, shuts up over all externally 
to the very origin of the whalebone above, so as to entirely 
conceal it from view. By means also of this formation of the 
lip, and the circumstance of the upper jaw shutting into a car- 
tilaginous groove at the extremity of the lower one, the most 
perfect valve is formed, which any pressure from without, only 
tends to render more secure from the ingress of the water. 

The fringe, which I before mentioned, produced by the whale^ 
bone, (as it is constantly and gradually extending itself in 
length, by the growth of the whalebone behind it, in proportion 
as it is worn away,) is thus always in a proper state of adapta- 
tion to the marvellous economy of the creature ; for the most 
curious part of this beautiful mechanism is the net or sieve 
which it thus forms ; an instrument which has been granted 
to this largest of creatures, for the purpose of straining or 
separating its minute prey from the body of water necessa- 
rily taken into the mouth with it, in feeding. For, in this 
whale, the mouth is of such enormous proportions, as to receive 
at once, even tons of water, and yet of such wonderful per- 

Zi On the Inland Navigation of 

fection is its filtering mechanism through these hair-hke fila- 
ments, that it rarely allows the escape of the nourishing par- 
ticles diftused therein, although they be no larger than peas; 
its food consisting chiefly of small medusae, Crustacea, and 

(To be continued.) 

On the Inland JS'avigatlon of the United States of America, 


[Communicated by the Author. Continued from the Number for 
January, 1828, Art. I.] 

The success that attended the execution of the Western Canal 
of the state of New York, drew the attention of the inhabitants 
of Philadelphia and Baltimore to the subject of Inland Navi- 
gation, It was soon perceived that the trade of both these 
cities was affected by the diversion of a considerable part of the 
traffic of the country west of the mountains, to that new and 
more convenient channel. Each of these cities, therefore, 
entered eagerly into the search for channels equally advan- 
tageous ; but these investigations have not been attended with 
any consequences of important value. 

From Philadelphia three several routes have been examined ; 
in one of these the summit is impracticable for want of a 
supply of water ; the others involve an expense far beyond any 
probable return, in consequence of the number of locks that 
would be required to surmount the ridges. Hence it may be 
asserted that there is little probability of the opening of an 
entire canal from this city to the Ohio, or Lake Erie, although 
there is a strong probabihty that a mixed system of canals and 
railways will be successful. To this the legislature of the state 
have very recently directed their attention, and have made large 
appropriations for it. Two navigations, that will form import- 
ant parts of such a system, have actually been completed. 

Philadelphia lies between two rivers, the Delaware and the 
Schuylkill, which approach at that point to a distance less than 
two miles. The former is navigable for the largest ships, the 
latter for vessels of 100 tons. Immediately above the city the 
Schuylkill is interrupted by falls, and although from its volume 

the United States of America. 12& 

of water it would rank in a high place among European rivers, 
the nature of the country is such, that interruptions of a similar 
character are frequent throughout its whole course. As many 
parts of the river are bold and deep, the Schuylkill navigation 
has been effected by using the bed in such places, and con- 
necting them by canals and lateral cuts. To deepen the river 
and check its current, twenty-eight wears have been thrown 
across it. The whole navigation amounts to 108 miles, 46 of^ 
which lie in the ancient bed of the river, and the remaining 62 
in the artificial channels. Besides 28 guard-locks at the 
wears, there are 92 locks overcoming a fall of 588 feet. So 
that this comparatively short navigation has a greater change 
of level than the Erie canal of the state of New York. The 
grand object of this navigation was to form a water communi- 
cation with a vast coal field, of which we shall have occasion 
to speak hereafter. 

At a distance of 58 miles from Philadelphia (measured on 
the Schuylkill navigation,) is situated the borough of Reading. 
From this a canal, called the Unioriy has been completed to the 
Susquehannah river. It is 71 miles in length. The summit 
level is 300 feet above the Schuylkill, and 210 feet above the 
Susquehannah. In the plan of the canal a difficulty was found 
in obtaining a supply of water for the summit level. This has 
been obviated by raising the waters of the Swatura by 
machinery, at such seasons as the other sources are usually 
scanty, and this will no doubt be effectual. 

An important improvement in the structure of the locks of 
this canal was planned and carried into effect, by the very 
intelligent and skilful engineer (Mr. C. White) who super- 
intended its construction. This improvement consists in the 
suppression of the breast wall, and making the upper gate 
nearly of the same depth as the lower one. The bottom of the 
lock has a slight slope, and the upper reach of the canal is 
gradually deepened until its bottom reaches the same level as 
that of the lower. As the breast wall is the weakest part of a 
lock, and adds considerably to the expense of construction, 
while it involves, in addition, the cost and inconvenience of 
lateral culverts in the walls, this improvement may be con- 
sidered as very important ; it is, in truth, the only change of 

W On the Inland Navigation of 

real value that has been introduced into the structure of locks, 
since the time of the opening of the canal of Languedoc. We 
have seen a proposal for a similar change in the form of locks, 
made by a French engineer ; and although he is, doubtless, no 
plagiarist, still it is proper to state that Mr. White's locks 
were not only planned, but built and in actual use before the 
French publication made its appearance. 

The Susquehannah, we have stated, in the former paper 
on this subject, to be full of rapids and other obstructions, 
from the time it enters the state of Pennsylvania. It is prac- 
ticable as a descending navigation for arks in times of floods, 
and an attempt was made, some years since, to mount against 
its current by means of a steam-boat. Although this vessel 
did mount the river, it appears doubtful whether the experi- 
ment will be followed by any useful results ; for it would be 
impossible to convey in this manner any heavy lading. 

There is, however, little doubt that a canal might be made 
in the valley of the Susquehannah, as far as its junction with the 
Tioga branch. The latter, running altogether on the western 
side of the great ridges of mountains, might readily be ren- 
dered navigable ; and plans have been proposed, to connect it 
with the Gennesse River, and with the Seneca Lake, in the 
state of New York; by either of these, it would come into 
communication with the Erie canal, and thus with the lake of 
that name. 

We consider this to be the best route by which Philadelphia 
can be brought by canals into competition with New York for 
the trade of the western country, unless some successful sub- 
stitute be found for locks in inland navigation. It is, however, 
far more circuitous and distant than the New York route, but 
it has the important advantage, at certain seasons, of being 
earlier clear of ice, and closing later than the New York 
canals. It is probable, that some means may be found of 
lessening the distance, and for this purpose a canal route has 
been examined directly from Philadelphia to Harrisburgh, on 
the Susquehannah. 

The legislature of Pennsylvania has recently adopted a great 
and general system of internal improvement by canals and 
rail-ways ; and is thus the second state of the union that has 

the United States of America, 2t 

followed the example of New York, in appropriating its re- 
venues and credit to great public works. The debt contracted 
for such objects stands upon a very different footing from that 
which arises from warlike enterprises. While the latter im- 
poverish a country, and diminish the means of liquidating the 
expenditure to which they give rise, the former increase and 
extend the sources of wealth, and provide ample means for the 
repayment of the cost of their construction. 

The chance of the city of Baltimore being able to effect an 
advantageous and direct line of water communication with 
the states west of the mountains, is less than Philadelphia. It 
is, however, better situated to avail itself of the descending 
trade of the Susquehannah, or of any improvements made in 
the bed, or the valley of that river. Failing in the hopes of a 
canal, a plan for a rail-way from Baltimore to the Ohio River 
has been set on foot ; the enterprise has been taken up by a 
company, chartered by the several states through which it is to 
pass, and the whole of the stock subscribed. It yet remains, 
however, to be ascertained by experience, whether a rail-way 
can ever be made to compete on equal terms with a canal 

The states of Maryland and Virginia have earnestly sought 
a mode of communication with the Ohio, and by its branch, 
the Allegany, with Lake Erie, through the valley of the 
Potomac. In this the general government has also taken an 
interest, and a route has been carefully surveyed by officers of 
the United States Corps of Engineers. This investigation has 
shown that a summit level can only be obtained, by deep 
excavation, or by a tunnel of nearly six miles in length, and that 
this summit will be elevated 2486 feet above the tide water of 
the Potomac, and 1730 above the Ohio at Pittsburgh. We 
therefore consider ourselves warranted in saying, that although 
certainly practicable, it will, if locks be used upon it;, involve 
an expense far beyond any that can be reimbursed by its 
revenue, or even by its public advantage. Notwithstanding 
this, a bill, authorizing a subscription to a company formed 
for making this canal, has passed the house of representatives, 
and will probably become a la>v. Within the state of Virginia, 
the sources of James River, which empties itself into the 

28 On the Inland Navigation of 

Chesapeake, and of the Kenhaway, that falls into the Ohio, 
approach near to each other. James River is navigable for 
vessels of 125 tons as far as Richmond, the capital of the 
state. Partial improvements of the bed of this stream were 
made many years since, by a chartered company, and these 
are connected with the lower parts by a canal and fifteen locks, 
in the vicinity of Richmond. These have however been of so 
little value, that it is now proposed to make a separate canal, 
up the valley of the James River, and of its branch called 
Jackson's River. The mountains here appear to form an 
insuperable barrier to artificial navigation, and hence a rail- 
way must be resorted to, in order to convey the trade to the 
Kenhaway River. This last, it is reported, may be made 
navigable by wears and sluices. Much anxiety has been ma- 
nifested by the intelligent population of this state, to press 
forward these improvements, and an engineer of high repu- 
tation, a pupil of the French Polytechnic school, has been 
employed, under the direction of a board of public works. 

We shall here close our accounts of those canals, whether 
executed or projected, that are intended to form a communica- 
tion between the sea-bord and the states west of the Allegany 
mountains. Those which we have mentioned are, in fact, all 
from which any important consequences are to be anticipated. 

We proceed to notice the artificial navigations, the 
objects of which are more confined. These we shall con- 
sider in the order of the states, beginning at the north-eastern 
frontier, and proceeding south, and shall confine ourselves 
to those which are actually completed, or in a state that 
promises speedy completion, unless in cases where the impor- 
tance of the enterprise, or some other cause of interest, shall 
render them worthy of remark. 

In the new state of Maine no work of any importance has 
been commenced, or even projected. In New Hampshire, it 
has been proposed to unite the tide waters of the Piscatawny 
at Portsmouth, with the upper part of the Merrimack through 
Lake Winnesipiogee. This latter river has been rendered 
navigable for boats, as far as the confluence of Baker's river, 
130 miles from the sea. Of this distance, twenty miles, as far 
as Haverhill in Massachusets, are navigable for ships. 

the United States of America, 21) 

In the state of Massachusets, the Middlesex canals are by 
far the most important artificial navigation. This work was 
commenced in the year 1793, under the direction of Mr. 
Weston, an English engineer, and in 1804 was opened for the 
passage of vessels. The canal enters the Charles river at the 
town of Charleston immediately opposite the city of Boston. 
From the tide it rises one hundred and four feet to the summit 
level, and descends thence thirty- two feet to the Merrimt^ck. 
These changes of level are effected by twenty locks. 

But one other artificial navigation has been actually com- 
menced in this state : this is a canal from the town of 
Worcester to Providence in the state of Rhode Island. The 
most important advantage to be anticipated from the comple- 
tion of this canal is the conveyance of coal, which is said to 
exist in abundance at Worcester, to a port whence it may be 

Connecticut is without any other canals than those men- 
tioned in speaking of the system extending parallel to the 
coast : and in Vermont, although various projects have been 
entertained, no canal has been actually commenced. 

As New York was the state that furnished the first great 
example to the rest of what might be done by a well-combined 
system of artificial navigation ; so this large and' populous state 
has been more prolific than any other in the Union. Surveys 
of no fewer than sixteen, were ordered to be performed at the 
expense of the state by the Legislature at its session of 1826. 
Three of these routes have been more recently pressed upon the 
attention of the public ; and to them we shall confine ourselves. 
The counties bordering upon the St. Lawrence possess a fertile 
soil, and were not behind any part of the state of New York 
in prospects of wealth and population, so long as the natural 
outlet of the St. Lawrence was open for the export of their pro- 
duce. They even competed with the western counties, on more 
than equal terms, for the swarms of the New England hive, 
until the opening of the Erie canal. Since that period, they have 
been upon the decline ; the tide of population is no longer directed 
towards them ; and even those families that have settled, fre- 
quently leave them in pursuit of a more advantageous seat. 
So short, however, is the distance from the Erie canal, that ai^ 

99 On the Inland Navigation of 

artificial navigation would speedily restore the equilibrium 
between these counties in the valley of the St. Lawrence and 
those in the west. An act has passed the Legislature of the 
state of New York, authorizing the formation of a chartered 
company to effect this communication, and the commissioners 
therein appointed are engaged in repeating and extending the 
original surveys with a view to attain exact estimates of the 
cost. Some of the natural circumstances are extremely favour- 
able to the formation of this canal ; the supply of water from 
the Black River, a tributary of Lake Ontario, and from Canada 
Creek, a branch of the Mohawk, is exuberant ; the former 
stream is itself navigable for boats for a considerable part of 
the distance, and requires little more than a towing path 
(unless steam-boats should be found more advantageous) to 
make it a canal ; and all the necessary materials are to be 
found in abundance. On the other hand, the elevation of the 
summit is very great, the whole amount of rise and fall being 
nearly sixteen hundred feet. Such, however, is the fertility of 
the country that will contribute the trade, and such the value 
of its pine forests which will instantly furnish a profitable article 
of commerce, that we feel assured that, even if locks be em- 
ployed to overcome the elevation, a large interest will accrue 
upon the investment of the capital necessary to complete this 
navigation ; while, if the resources of mechanics furnish any 
cheaper mode of obtaining a change of level, it must be pro- 
digiously lucrative. The success of the Erie canal is in truth 
an earnest that this cannot fail to be not only useful to the 
country, but profitable to those who execute it. It is however 
yet questionable whether it will be possible to obtain capital 
for the accomplishment of this important undertaking. The 
state has in some measure decided that it will not for some 
years to come undertake any new enterprises ; the country 
this canal is intended to benefit, is, from the causes we have 
stated, much impoverished ; such too is the demand for capi- 
tal in other parts of the States, to be employed in the innume- 
rable branches of industry which the progress of internal im- 
provement has called into existence, that little inducement 
exists to divert it to the accomplishment of enterprises of this 
character. Surplus wealth, beyond what is invested in lands 

the United States of America, 31 

and buildings, or is engrossed in manufactures and commerce, 
hardly exists in the United States, except in the great cities, 
and even there it has the facility of being invested in the local 
banks and other monied institutions, that have hitherto ab- 
sorbed the capitals of the few who are not engaged in active 
business. Those who are willing to incur the risks of trade 
look for larger profits than a canal is likely to afford ; those 
who seek a secure income without encountering the vicissitudes 
of commerce, have hitherto preferred the stock of banking insti- 
tutions for the investment of their capital. Hence in many 
projects for internal improvements, the privilege of banking has 
been attached to the charter for canals, as a bait for subscrip- 
tions. It is hardly necessary to state that this heterogeneous asso- 
ciation has not been, generally speaking, a fortunate one. The 
profits of banking are gradually falling, however, and must soon 
become so small as to compel the increasing permanent capital 
to be invested in enterprises of this nature. But, in the mean 
time, we cannot help wondering, that the capitalists of Europe, 
who have been for some years past searching in all directions 
for new modes of investment, should not have turned their 
attention this way. So little however does the character of 
these enterprises, or the resources and good faith of the states 
of the American confederacy, appear to be understood in the 
money markets of Europe, that we are inclined to believe that 
the most advantageously situated canal route would fail in 
obtaining subscribers, although South American mining stock 
would be eagerly taken up ; and we know, that, at a time 
when Greek, Columbian, and even Poyais loans were sought 
with avidity, the state of Ohio could not obtain a loan for the 
execution of the important work we spoke of in the former 
part of this essay. The money for the last was indeed readily 
obtained in the United States, but at a rate of interest higher 
than is usually paid in Europe. There is, no doubt, great cau- 
tion to be employed in determining between the different pro- 
jects of canals with which the United States are teeming ; nor 
are all the states equally capable of paying the interest of, or 
redeeming loans ; but the discrimination may be effected by 
the exertion of ordinary prudence. The canal in question, for 
instance, is one whose cost can be ascertained within a trifle, 

32 On the Inland Navigation of 

in consequence of the experience attained by the engineers of 
the state of New York in constructions of the kind ; its revenue 
is susceptible of ready estimate, and it is situated in a state 
that has attained, by the strict performance of all its engage- 
ments, the highest character for good faith and ability to com- 
ply with its contracts. 

The second of the projects that has been recently agitated 
in the state of New York is the Chenango canal. This derives 
its name from a branch of the Susquehannah river, and is 
intended to form a communication between that stream and 
the Erie canal. A bill to construct this at the expense of the 
state failed of becoming a law by a few votes. A charter of the 
most full and liberal character might no doubt be obtained for 
its construction by a company ; but we are not aware of its 
possessing equal advantages, or a probability of as great a 
revenue, as the one we have just spoken of. 

The third of these routes lies between the head of Cayuga 
Lake and the Susquehannah at Oswego. Difficulties, arising 
from a scarcity of water and the height of the intervening 
land, have caused the plan of a canal in this direction to 
merge in that of a railway. A company has been chartered to 
carry this into effect, and will probably go into successful 
operation. Besides these embryo projects, two canals have 
been actually executed at the expense of the state ; the first 
forms a communication between the Erie canal and Lake On- 
tario, by means of the Oswego river ; the second between the 
same canal and the Seneca lake. 

One private enterprise of great extent and importance has 
been nearly completed in the State of New York ; this is the 
Delaware and Hudson canal. It enters the latter river near the 
mouth of the Wallhill at the town of Kingston, and extends in 
a south western direction, through the vallies of the Rondont and 
Nevisink, until within a short distance of the confluence of the 
latter with the Delaware, and for a distance of 64 miles. The 
ascent from the Hudson to the summit level is 535 feet, 
and the descent to the Delaware 80 feet. From the valley of 
the Nevisink it rises through that of the Delaware, and near its 
margin for the distance of 17 miles, and to a height of 148 
feet. Here it crosses that river and enters the valley of the 

the United States of America, 33 

Sackawasen, along which it is to be carried as far as the forks 
of the Dyeberry, about 20 miles. The canal was opened ia 
April 1828 from the Delaware to the Hudson, the remainder is 
in a state of rapid progress towards completion. From the 
termination of the canal, a railway has been laid out, rising 
about 500 feet to a gap in the Moosick mountain, whence it 
descends 800 feet to the valley of the Sachawannock, a branch 
of the Susquehannah. At this point is an immense bed of coal, 
a portion of the great anthracite formation of Pennsylvania. 
The great object, indeed, of this canal is to bring a supply of 
this valuable fuel to the city of New York, and to those districts 
on the Hudson in which wood has become scarce. 

As the coal of this region has been the source of a variety 
of projects of inland navigation, besides the canal we have 
just mentioned, it will be essential to the complete illustration 
of our subject, that we should describe this formation. 

It may be traced from a point in Dauphin county, Penn- 
sylvania, about fifteen miles north of Harrisburgh, the seat of 
the state-government. It thence extends about E. N. E. 
through the whole length of Schuylkill county, and incloses 
the sources of the river of that name. On the borders of 
Schuylkill and North Hampton counties it turns suddenly 
to the north, and proceeds in that direction, until it reaches 
the Susquehannah river, in the vale of Wyoming, when it 
spreads out on both banks of the river, and includes the whole 
valley. Here the formation resumes its original course, or 
one more nearly N.E., and when the course of the river 
abandons that direction, the coal can still be traced pursuing 
that azimuth, up the valley of the Sachawannock ; along this 
it extends to the very source of that stream ; and the last mine 
that has been opened is at Belmont in Wayne county, the 
north-eastern corner of the state of Pennsylvania. The whole 
length of this formation is about 1 10 miles, the breadth from 
four to eight miles. According to the investigations of the late 
Mr. Cist, of Wilkesbarre, the coal extends beneath the whole 
of this region, and is in many places from twelve to thirty feet 
in thickness. The supply is, in truth, vast beyond calculation. 

The general character of the coal of this formation is what is 
called by mineralogists anthracite^ and is similar to that of the 

JULY— SEPT. 1828. D 

34 On the Inland Navigation of 

Kilkenny coal of Ireland, burning without smoke. Its pro- 
perties as a fuel are, however, various, according to the 
situation and circumstances under which it is found. In 
some places it is dry, and composed of carbon nearly pure, 
the earthy matter amounting to little more than five per cent., 
and there being no other impurity. In others it passes 
towards the character of the adjacent carboniferous shale, and 
then leaves much ashes after its combustion. In others, again, 
it is saturated with water. This last variety burns much more 
freely than any other, and, when dug from beneath water, or 
from mines loaded with that liquid, it is found to assume a 
resplendent pavonine hue. The flame that attends its com- 
bustion is no doubt due to the decomposition of the water with 
which it is charged, while that found in dry situations burns 
away without emitting any gas heated so far as to become 
luminous. In the one case, it forms a pleasant and bright fuel 
for the open grate, while in the other it burns only in furnaces 
possessing a great draught; but it then furnishes the most 
durable and intense heat of any fossil substance. 

Many of the mines furnish specimens of fossil charcoal, in 
•which the ligneous structure is as marked as in that recently 
prepared from growing timber ; and thus is afforded another 
link in the evidence, that all coal is of vegetable origin. In 
the shale and sandstone that accompany the coal, great quan- 
tities of vegetable impressions are also found. These appear 
to be identical, in genera and species, with those which accom- 
pany the bituminous coal of England. The shale that overlies 
the coal has a very peculiar character, containing much car- 
bon, but no bitumen, and may hence form a new mineralo- 
gical species, carboniferous shale. 

This great coal field has not hitherto been traced into the 
state of New York. Identity of geological position would, 
however, warrant the belief, that its continuation, or a separate 
but analogous formation, will be found on the western side of 
the Catskill mountains ; and, in corroboration of this belief, 
it may be stated, that the writer of this article found coal in 
place, near the Little Falls of the Mohawk River, on the 
western side of the mountain through which that stream forces 
its way, and which is a continuation of the great Allegany ridge, 
of which Moosick Mountains and the Catskills are parts. 

the United States of America, 90^ 

The search for coal in this direction has, however, been re- 
tarded, in consequence of an erroneous impression that has been 
given of the character of the rock at the Little Falls. In the 
published geological survey of the New York canal, it has been 
classed as a primitive rock, while it is, in fact, a coarse-grained 
sandstone, retaining, indeed, the crystalline character of its 
parts in an uncommon degree, but readily distinguished, by 
the looseness of its aggregation, from the family of gneiss. It 
is probably similar to the sandstone used in many of the edi- 
fices of Thebes in Egypt, which was long mistaken for gra- 
nite, although more close examination has shown that the 
latter material is only used in a few vast monoliths, and never 
as the material of buildings. As we have been led, in order 
to render the objects of several canals obvious, to mention this 
coal formation, it may not be irrelevant to state, that in the 
state of Pennsylvania there are other extensive coal fields ; one 
of these has been lately discovered near the Tioga branch of the 
Susquehannah river ; another has long been worked in the vici- 
nity of Pittsburgh, at the confluence of the Allegany and Mo- 
nongahela ; both of these are bituminous in their characters. 
Coal of the same species abounds in many places on the banks 
of the Ohio river, in the states of Ohio and Kentucky. j^ 

As cultivation increases, and the wood is more frequently 
cut, not only does the space occupied by growing timber de- 
crease in the Atlantic States, but the power of reproduction 
appears to diminish ; the demand at the same time becomes 
greater, in consequence of the greater number of persons to be 
supplied, and the extension of manufacturing industry. Hence, 
in the great cities of the sea coast of the United States, fuel has 
for many years borne a price far greater in proportion than 
any other necessary of life. With the exception of a small dis- 
trict in Virginia, and beds of anthracite of very inferior quality 
in Rhode Island, and at Worcester in Massachusets, no coal 
has been found to the eastward of the first or primitive range 
of mountains. Hence a cheap and abundant supply of coal 
may be considered as almost essential to the continuance of 
the prosperity that has hitherto attended the progress of that 
portion of the American Union. The discovery of the great 
field of anthracite coal in Pennsylvania has hence been consi- 

D 2 

9^J On the Inland Navigation of 

dered as likely to be attended with the most important conse- 
quences ; while the formation of channels by which it could 
be readily conveyed to the markets, appeared to offer the most 
advantageous prospects for a profitable investment of capital. 
The coal of the vale of Wyoming may be conveyed by the 
Susquehannah to the tide-waters of the Chesapeake Bay. But 
that river does not at present permit an ascending naviga- 
tion ; and the supply, although cheap, is limited to what can 
be furnished by the species of vessel called in America arJcs. 
These vessels, rudely built of hewn logs, are broken up at their 
place of destination, and sold as timber, or even as fuel. If 
by no means costly, the quantity of them that can be prepared 
in a season is small. A similar attempt was made on the 
waters of the Lehigh, to supply the city of Philadelphia, but was, 
for the reason we have stated^ found inadequate to the demand. 

The Schuylkill navigation, described in the early part of 
this paper, was undertaken to open a more certain com- 
munication with these mines, and has been successful so far 
as Philadelphia is concerned ; much coal has been shipped 
by sea to New York. But as a great part of the coal field is 
not more distant from the latter city than it is from the former, 
and as New York is likely to be a much greater consumer of 
this fuel, more direct modes of communication have been sought 
between it and the mines. The only one that is likely to be 
very speedily completed is the Delaware and Hudson canal ; 
and such is the facility it will offer for the transportation of 
coal, that the best estimates appear to prove, that it may be 
delivered on the bank of the Hudson at so low a price, as not 
only to supply the demand of the city of New York, but even 
to supersede wood as fuel, in the very districts where it is now 
cut for the market of that metropolis. Wood is in truth so 
bulky, and requires so much labour to convey it to the place 
where it is used, that the farmers of those parts of the country 
to which coal can be carried by water, are already beginning to 
purchase coal, and abandoning the cutting of the wood that 
grows upon their own lands. 

The Delaware and Hudson canal, to which we now return, 
was commenced at a period when the frauds and misrepresen- 
tations that marked the era of joint stock companies in 

the United States of America. dH 

England, had extended to America, with a portion of the 
same mad spirit of speculation. But while various other 
companies were managed with a reference merely to the 
elevation of the price of their stock, this canal company was 
distinguished, in the most honourable manner, by a direct 
and faithful determination to carry into effect the great 
objects of their charter. It hence enjoys the highest cha- 
racter and credit ; and when it became necessary to raise a 
further capital, to extend the line of communication beyond the 
point at which the original estimates ceased, the state was in- 
duced to pledge its good faith for the redemption of a loan of 
half a million of dollars. Such favour this company justly 
merited, from the honour and fidelity with which its business 
was conducted. 

We shall close the present paper by mentioning another pro- 
ject for a communication with the coal region ; the route of 
which lies partly in the state of New York. It was intended 
to pass in a direction nearly parallel to the Delaware and Hud- 
son canal, from the mouth of the Pequest, a branch of the 
Delaware in Sussex county of New Jersey, to the Hudson in 
the vicinityof the village of Newburgh. Although the route has 
been surveyed, and found practicable by a very intelligent engi- 
neer, and a charter granted by the states of New York and 
New Jersey, no step has been taken towards its construction. 
It would afford, however, as convenient a mode of reaching 
the coal mines as the Delaware and Hudson canal, and has 
the advantage of entering the Hudson nearly forty miles nearer 
to New York. 

In the former part of this essay, we paid what we felt to be 
a merited tribute of praise to the then governor of the state of 
New York, De Witt Clinton. Even before that paper reached 
England, that great public benefactor of the United States 
had ceased to live. He has left a space in the public 
councils of his country, that will not soon again be filled by 
one equally zealous for the improvement of his country, or 
equally fearless in promoting the facilities of internal commu- 
nication, at the risk of the loss of political consequence, and 
popular favour. 


On Malaria on Ship-hoard, By Dr. Mac CuUoch. 

If in the former papers on Malaria, to which you gave admis- 
sion in your Journal, I took occasion to notice the production 
of this poisonous substance in ships, I submit to your judgment 
as to the propriety of entering on this particular branch of that 
question in more detail : partly on account of its great import- 
ance, partly also because of the very persevering mistakes 
which appear to have been committed on this point, and still 
more, as you justly remark, because that which was likely to 
have been passed with little notice in a general sketch of the 
entire subject, is more likely to attract the attention of those 
whom it may concern, when thus separated under a specific 
title, and treated somewhat more fully than was formerly 

If it has not been an unvarying opinion that the fevers 
occurring in ships, and particularly those breaking out at sea, 
are of a contagious nature, or appertaining to Typhus, (to use 
a term now become popular,) I should find some difficulty, at 
this moment, in producing any opinions to prove that they 
were thought to appertain to the Remittent, or were fevers 
produced by miasma or malaria, and not by contagion ; except 
at least in these very unquestionable, or unquestioned, cases, 
where the disease attacks the patient in a tropical climate, or 
other analogous country, in consequence of communication 
with the shore. On the contrary, I should, I believe, be safe in 
saying, that almost every fever, perhaps even every remarkable 
occurrence of this nature in a ship, has been viewed as an 
example of contagious fever, or as a true Typhus ; while the 
treatment has of course been modified by that opinion. 

Nor is this matter of surprise. I have shown in the Essay 
on Malaria, that throughout Britain generally this error has 
been extremely prevalent, for at least many years : while it 
might be curious to investigate the causes, whence it has arisen 
that we, of this day, had, on this subject, forgotten the 
knowledge of our predecessors, the Sydenhams and Lobbs, 
though it is an inquiry in which I ought not to indulge in this 

Dr. Mac Gulloch on Malaria on Ship-board. 39 

place. The fact, nevertheless, is such. The true remittent 
fever is not indeed unmarked or unknown : but it is most cer- 
tain that the very great majority of cases are termed, as they 
are considered, typhus ; while if navy practitioners take pre- 
cautions against contagion under those occurrences, it has been 
very common among others to express surprise that the disease 
had not been communicated to the attendants. Sometimes, 
indeed, the practitioner imagines that his precaution has been 
the cause of stopping this anticipated but imaginary process ; 
but it has also very often happened that where, from situation, 
from exposure to a common exciting cause, in an active and 
present malaria, many persons in one house have suffered, 
simultaneously, or rather in succession, the fever has been 
pronounced as propagated from one individual to another 
through a large family, when the truth has been that each was 
subjected to his own distinct marsh fever from a common ex- 
posure : and it is this which explains also that which has so 
often been a cause of surprise ; namely, the occurrence of 
single cases of fever, in a numerous family, or in a populous 
neighbourhood, while perhaps no precautions have been taken 
against its propagation ; just as it accounts for the innumerable 
instances in which the so called typhus fevers, received into 
hospitals, have not spread. Such fevers could not have been 
propagated, because they were not contagious, or were not 
typhus fever; while I need scarcely say to Physicians how 
very easy it is to mistake the continuous marsh fever for the 
true typhus, or, equally, that in which the remissions are 
slightly marked ; and very particularly in the ordinary routine 
of practice, often hurried : an error, also, the more easy, should 
the prejudices, habits, and general impression of the practi- 
tioner on this subject have given his mind a general bias to 
this belief, the belief in contagion or in contagious fever as a 
common, or as the more common disease. 

And that this has been a recent belief in England, or rather 
that it has been an opinion gradually spreading or accumu- 
lating for many years, must be well known to all observing 
physicians, while it would not be without interest to inquire 
how much it has depended on the recently augmented use of 
the term typhus, and its even popular adoption by the multi- 

40 Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board, 

tude at large. The influence of terms forms one of the most 
curious departments of the history of the human mind, and is 
the foundation of more fallacies than all else which that history 
can furnish. As long as the term in use was fever, simply, the 
disease might have been any fever; and it was then the busi- 
ness of the physician to ascertain what it was, whether it was 
a marsh fever or a contagious one. But the term typhus once 
adopted, became the substitute for examination and reasoning 
alike, as it became also the rule of practice : the association of 
ideas led necessarily to contagion ; and hence unquestionably 
one leading cause of the rapid growth and progress of this 
error : an error which will not soon be eradicated, and may not 
possibly be entirely corrected until some change of the general, 
and particularly of the popular nomenclature takes place. 

As a proof of this popular and general error, it is sufficient 
to open any monthly journal or inspect any newspaper, where 
we read currently of the prevalence of typhus " in this month," 
August and September, for example, and how " in this month," 
November, the number of cases is gradually diminishing. And 
these are the reports of physicians holding public situations in 
hospitals, from whom, if from any, we are entitled to expect 
more correct notions ; particularly when they set up to be the 
recorders of medical statistics, to descend, possibly, to posterity, 
and corrupt the entire history of medicine. If it is from such 
authorities as these that Heberden and others have drawn their 
averages and deductions, we may well be cautious how we 
reason on them. 

I am aware that more correct notions have for some little 
time begun to take place of this extensive error ; but physi- 
cians know as well as I do that they are still very limited — so 
limited, that among men of any reputation, it would not be 
very difficult to point out the individual. They know, too, that 
such correct views, although promulgated by teachers, have 
very little effect on the general opinion and practice at present; 
and it is such teachers who will best know that in the Essay on 
Malaria, and in that on Marsh Fever, I have not overrated 
either the error or the evil, strongly as I may have pointed 
it out. 

But if I have thus pointed out this most common and widely 

Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board, 41 

extended mistake, I ought to caution any reader of this paper 
from supposing that the writer of it is one of those who doubt 
or deny the existence of a typhus, or a truly contagious fever. 
It is difficult, indeed, to conceive how such a doctrine could 
have been promulgated by any one acquainted with practical 
medicine, or with the history of medicine : yet temper produces 
strange phenomena in human society ; while the not uncommon 
tendency of mankind (o fly off" suddenly into opposite extremes, 
and not a little the love of paradox, added perhaps occasion- 
ally to a little desire for notoriety through whatever means, 
may perhaps serve to explain this recent aberration of opinions. 

It ought almost to be unnecessary to say how important it is 
to distinguish between these two kinds of fever ; the contagious 
and the non-contagious, typhus and marsh fever. And since 
a clear idea of this subject, as far as that can be conveyed in 
a paper of this popular character, is essentially fundamental to 
the special object of this brief essay, I must be permitted to 
enlarge a little on these general views ; confining myself also 
as much as possible to that which, whether as matter of 
doctrine, or matter of practice and utility, can be rendered ap- 
prehensible to general readers. 

Such readers ought, therefore, to understand that there are 
two fevers, of characters essentially distinct, if often very much 
resembling each other in their symptoms, or general appear- 
ances, progress, and effects ; and that there are but two, — as I 
hope can be proved to the satisfaction of medical readers : all 
the eruptive fevers, together with all the symptomatic ones, or 
those which attend local diseases, being of course excluded : 
— two simple fevers ; and one of these being the produce of 
vegetable decomposition or malaria, including consequently all 
marsh fevers, while the other, originating it is not always ex- 
actly apparent how, can be communicated from one person to 
another, which the former cannot. And this last is typhus ; 
including many varieties, from a very slender disease to the 
most mortal jail-fever or putrid fever: while, under the former, 
are ranked every variety of ague or intermittent, together with 
remittent fevers, which are often as persistent or continuous as 
typhus or contagious fever, and often also assume the same 
character of virulence or putrefaction, with a course as short 

42 -Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board. 

and as destructive ; but the essential distinction always con-* 
tinues. These cannot be communicated from one individual 
to another. 

Thus simply stated, it might be supposed by general readers 
that nothing could be more easy than to make the distinction 
in practice. Yet the fact has proved far otherwise, and even 
in much graver cases than the fevers of our own country, or 
even the fevers of ships ; from causes, some of which I must 
allow my own profession to assign, as they would scarcely 
thank me for the attempt. To these readers, however, it will 
be interesting to know that on this have been founded all the 
confusion and all the disputes which so long occupied the 
world, and still occupy it occasionally, respecting the yellow 
fevers of the West Indies and of America, the fevers of 
Gibraltar and Cadiz, and the more recent ones of Barcelona and 
Alicante : while the confusion, the inconveniences, and the 
terrific mortalities which have resulted from these errors, I 
could not here undertake to speak of, without trespassing on at 
least the bounds of this essay, if not so very much upon its 
objects. Generally, however, I may venture to say, that as 
severe typhus and severe marsh fevers often put on the same 
aspect, so while the peculiar biliary affections caused by heat 
are common or general in hot climates, it has happened that 
these, occurring in each kind or class of fever, and forming an 
obvious symptom, as also giving rise to a popular term, have 
caused the name Yellow Fever to be applied indiscriminately 
to both. Thus there has been a yellow fever which was con- 
tagious, and a yellow fever which was not contagious, or a 
marsh fever ; this last being the common endemic of the West 
Indies and other tropical climates, as of Spain, while the former 
has been a contagious disease, casually arising, or imported in 
ships, and propagated in the usual manner. That the yellow 
fever and the mortal fever of Gibraltar proved of this 
nature, and that, in the last case in particular, this contagious 
'^ yellow" fever had been mistaken for the non-contagious, or 
marsh " yellow" fever, with mortal consequences of the most 
tremendous amount, will form a sufficient illustration to ordi- 
nary readers, as to this particular error ; while it will be a suffi- 
cient example also of the exactly reverse error, that the fever 

Dr. Mac CuUoch on Malaria on Ship-board. 43 

of Alicante, which was the non-contagious, or marsh, *' yellow'* 
fever, was mistaken, reversely, for the contagious one, and 
managed accordingly, with very inconvenient results, if not with 
similarly mortal ones. 

And that the readers for whom I am here writing may ap- 
prehend generally what the consequences of these mistakes 
have been, and are, and may be again, I will state the most 
prominent points ; facts that have existed, and which have been 
repeated, even very recently. In our own country and our 
own fevers, the consequences under these errors are compara- 
tively trifling ; yet the inconveniences, and even the mortality, 
are far from being so inconsiderable as a superficial thinker, or 
a person ignorant of medicine, would imagine. And what I 
have to remark offers another interesting, if painful example, 
of that class of fallacy arising from the influence of a popular 
term. The yellow fever ; this term, like the word typhus, was 
sufl[icient : it was reasoning and observation united. '• Yellow'* 
fever had generally been a mar^h fever: it was sufficient, there- 
fore, that to a fever, to any fever with this symptom, the term 
yellow fever was applied, and the whole question became de- 
termined without examination. When will mankind be freed 
from the slavery to words ? — when mankind learns to think 
and to reason. 

When the " yellow" fever, being the typhus, or contagi- 
ous disease, has been supposed the marsh, or non-conta- 
gious fever, the consequence has been neglect in intercept- 
ing communication, and in all those precautions which stop 
the progress of contagion ; the consequence has been mor- 
tality, which might have been prevented by the simplest 
precautions, and that mortality diffusing itself from town to 
town, and from sea-port to sea-port, across half the globe. 
This was the lamentable case of Gibraltar, very particu- 
larly. When the " yellow" fever has been the marsh, or 
non-contagious fever, the consequences have been different : 
less mortal, it is true, but, perhaps, quite as vexatious, and, 
municipally as well as commercially, far more troublesome. 
Hence cordons drawn round towns, with other troublesome 
and expensive arrangements to check an imaginary con- 
tagion, destructive of personal liberty and commerce ; — hence 
quarantine laws made and enforced against that which was 

44 Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-hoard, 

not communicable, with great consequent commercial injury, 
and with great expense and inconvenience ; — and hence, also, 
collaterally or incidentally, the excitement of a temper which, 
j)artly justified by the results as here stated, has generated a 
kind of party spirit against all quarantine regulations ; and has 
even gone so far, in recent times, and in the hands of a few of 
violent tempers, or misapplied political feelings, or anxious for 
notoriety, or else delighting in universal opposition, as to pro- 
pose, and persist in, the propriety of suppressing all quarantine 
or sanitary regulations, even in the case of the plague. 

Of the last case to which I have here alluded, Alicante offers 
an example : while, if I dare not quote further illustrations, 
so I cannot venture either to enter into more minute details of 
the several grievous consequences which have resulted from 
the errors which I have here pointed at. It woidd require 
long detail to render these fully sensible to popular readers, 
ignorant of the facts and ignorant of medicine ; and though 
such detail might be rendered very interesting, I dare not so 
far infringe on my allotted space. Such readers would also ill 
comprehend how the medical practice must be affected by 
correct or false views as to the true nature of such a fever ; 
and if the differences required in the treatment are not always 
very considerable, there are many cases where they really are 
most important; while I need not suggest to any philosophical 
mind, that no physician can act correctly under vague, hesi- 
tating, or false views of the nature of the disorder which he is 

As far as our own country is concerned, the results of this 
error are evil in a less proportion, as the diseases, of whatever 
nature, are less numerous and less severe. I will pass over 
what relates to the practice or the medical treatment, though 
it is by no means unimportant. It ought to be obvious, also, 
that if a non-contagious disorder shall be judged a contagious 
one, the precautions which prudence would suggest on this 
view, and which a correct practitioner would follow, if too 
often omitted from ignorance or carelessness, are of a nature 
to be attended with great inconvenience, and often with consi- 
derable expense as well as alarm. Such is removal ; such, 
separation, nurses, and much more ; matters which, expressed 
in so many simple w^ords, carry no weight, but the vexa- 

.Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board, 45 

tions and expenses arising from which will not easily be for- 
gotten by those who have suffered from them. The reverse 
mistake, that of treating a contagious fever as if it was not 
contagious, has scarcely, perhaps, occurred much in our own 
country, because our errors are of the reverse nature : but 
while this would soon take place, should the sect, which 
admits of no contagious fever, make progress, it is apparent 
that the consequences would be most pernicious, since they 
would be the propagation of the disease : the same events, if 
on a smaller scale, which occurred to so terrific an extent at 
Gibraltar. How this affects the case of ships, I shall defer 
till I speak on this specific subject, that I may consolidate 
what appertains to that most important question, and the 
main object of this paper, into the most compact possible 
form. But there is one serious consequence of this pre- 
vailing error, viz., that of confounding marsh fever with 
typhus ; which^ if less obviously apparent, I should be unpar- 
donable in passing by, since it is, perhaps, equal in bad results 
to all else. If the vulgar, and, above all, the shallow and self- 
elected, critics, with which the popular literature of the hour 
abounds, suppose that fevers arise from no causes, or drop down 
from the clouds under magic or mysteries unappreciable by 
philosophy, it is not necessary to answer this class of modern 
philosophers. That effects arise from causes is no very pro- 
found discovery ; and that effects may be regulated by regu- 
lating their causes, is not much more difficult to comprehend. 
Fevers, it is to be presumed, have their causes, like all other 
efiects ; and to know these, is to have made the first step, at 
least, in the management of the diseases in question. To 
command them, is to command the effect ; to be able to 
modify them, is to modify it ; to destroy them, or to intercept 
their action, is prevention ; and prevention is health, as far 
as this disease, extensive in quantity and in evil, is concerned. 
Let, then, an exact, accurate, and invariable distinction be 
drawn between contagious and non-contagious fevers ; typhus 
and marsh fevers : and if there are but these two classes or 
species, as I hope to show still further than I have already 
done, we have acquired a command, to a certain extent, over the 
causes — while this command is prevention. How to prevent 

46 Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board. 

typhus, every one knows : to prevent marsh fever the rules 
are equally obvious ; since it is to avoid the lands or circum- 
stances which produce them. The object of the Essay on 
Malaria was to describe those, for the purpose of prevention ; 
but that knowledge will become effective only when the dis- 
tinctions between the two kinds shall be truly and invariably 
drawn, and when the people and their physicians shall have 
learned to admit, first, that fevers have a cause, and next, that 
the cause of those fevers, which are not typhus, is marsh 
miasma or malaria. How this question applies to ships, also, 
to the subject especially in hand, must be peculiarly apparent. 

But the basis of the whole inquiry, the nature and causes of 
fevers, is so much in want of elucidation, and that elucidation 
is so necessary to a right understanding of the main question, 
that I must yet offer some remarks on this subject : while I 
also conceive that it will, in itself, not prove an uninteresting 
one to popular readers, thus treated ; since, while they do 
interest themselves much about it, they are in a state of great 
confusion of mind relating to the whole subject. If people 
will think and act for themselves on the subject of medicine, 
and if they will control their physicians, it is, at least, of 
importance that they should think correctly. That, on this 
question of the distinctions and causes of fevers, even Physic 
itself is not very clear at present, I hope to show : while, 
whether I succeed in convincing my own profession or not, it 
is, at least, my duty to state my own opinions, and the reasons 
on which they are founded. 

I need not touch on the causes of contagious fever ; they 
are known, and not disputed. The question is, whether there 
is any other cause of fever besides those, except the application 
of marsh miasma, or malaria. It appears to me that no others 
have, at least, been proved ; and if this be so, then it also 
follows that there are but two species of fever, contagious and 
marsh fever. For the purpose of establishing this merely, an 
inquiry into the causes of fever will be valuable ; but it will be 
directly useful in another way. If, of any effect or effects, there 
are more causes than one, our power over these is checked or 
diminished : should we even suspect more causes than one, 
and without proving them, our confidence in our philosophical 

Dr. Mac CuUoch on Malaria on Ship-hoard. 47 

principles is weakened, and the results that might have been 
derived from them become more doubtful. In the case before 
us, it is most essential to ascertain, if this can be done, that, 
next to contagion, there is no other cause of fever than mal- 
aria ; because we have then acquired a sure knowledge, at 
least, as to the mode of prevention, if not an absolute power 
in this matter. If, for example, in a ship we can control 
contagion, and if, in the same case, we can equally remove 
malaria, or its action, there can be no fevers in ships, because 
we have laid our hands on the only causes. 

Absolutely to prove what I myself believe on this subject, 
is not possible ; because it is an attempt to prove a negative 
in a science which is not an accurate one, and because it is an 
attempt to oppose established habits and prejudices^ in a 
branch of knowledge which is especially governed by them. 
All that I can do, is to approximate the facts in as simple and 
logical an order as I can, and trust the effect to those who are 
in the habit of weighing moral probabilities ; for of this nature 
is the present argument. 

The power and effect of malaria are admitted : of this one 
cause of fever there is no doubt; but it is the custom in physic 
to say, that they are produced also by heat, or by cold, or by 
either of these united to moisture ; or, further, by fatigue, 
errors or deficiency of food, the passions of the mind, and 
some few other causes, inducing what physicians call de- 

If it is a maxim in philosophy that superfluous causes ought 
not to be assumed, it is here worthy of remark, that all these 
causes of fevers were proposed or invented in the ignorance 
and infancy of physic ; and when the very existence of such a 
subject, chemically, as malaria, was so little suspected, that 
the influence, even of marshes, was attributed to moisture, 
heat, putrefaction, animalculae in the air, defective elasticity 
in the atmosphere, and any thing else which admitted of 
some well-sounding term. 

It is also not an unimportant remark here, that to these very 
same causes, enumerated as the causes of fevers, were attri- 
buted inflammations, and, indeed, all other diseases. Mankind 
is naturally inclined to causation ; and in this case physic has 

48 Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board. 

mustered everything which could be supposed capable of affect- 
ing the human body, hoping, perhaps, that if one failed, it 
was sure of at least including the real cause in the crowd. 
And, in fact, these words have always been used as a mere 
string of terms ; not one definite idea having been attached to 
them, nor to their supposed powers of action : they are but a 
portion of that phraseology which has ever been the substitute 
for philosophy in physic ; and not a very uncommon substi- 
tute also for reasoning in moral science. It is of some value, 
in such a case as this, to trace the origin and character of 
opinions ; as we may thus often shake the structure which we 
cannot directly demolish. 

If a single cause were always the sole agent in producing 
disease, there would be no difficulty in proving that not one 
of these was the cause of marsh fever, or of fever that is not 
contagious. Unfortunately, the condition of the subject to be 
acted on must also be taken into the account ; as there are 
predisposing as well as exciting causes. And these last being 
sometimes obscure and unknown, while the former may be 
obvious, physic has not unnaturally committed the error of 
taking up with what was most obvious ; while, in this case, 
ignorant or neglectful of the presence and power of malaria in 
all those least obvious instances which I have pointed out in 
that Essay, it has attributed to heat, or cold, or fatigue, or 
what not, as prime causes, that power which they possess but 
as secondary and assisting ones. 

But as the very nature of this question does not allow me 
to prove the nature of the cause from any single fact, we must 
try to produce, from a wide mass of such, what could not be 
deduced from individual or separate ones ; and should this be 
practicable, the proof is legitimate, because it is only thus that 
philosophy, in almost any case, arrives at truth. If I can 
prove that the one cause which is here assumed as the true one, 
acts as often as it is called into action, and that the power of 
the others is irregular and uncertain, as also that, in very plain 
cases, they do not act at all when present ; and further, that 
when they do appear to be the agents, that other demonstrated 
cause is also present, or probably existent, it appears to me 
that the point in question is proved as perfectly as anything 

Dr. Mac CuUoch on Malaria on Ship'board. 49 

ever is proved in those sciences which do not admit of mathe- 
matical demonstration. 

I may divide the imaginary causes which physic has assigned 
into two classes ; — those which depend on man himself, includ- 
ing injurious diet, fatigue, the passions,' and so forth, are 
equally distributed, on a broad average, throughout mankind, 
everywhere, and at all seasons of the year, or in all climates. 
As to injurious conditions of temperature and of moisture, 
they are not amenable to the same universal average ; but 
they occur also under certain distinct sets of averages, entirely 
different from those which attend the existence and action of 

Now, if what I have termed human causes were the causes 
of non-contagious fever, that should occur indiscriminately, and 
on some equable general average, all over the world. That, 
admittedly, is not the fact ; and I may surely, therefore, safely 
dismiss them from the list of causes which physic has registered. 
There is nothing wanting, even to demonstration, as to this 
branch of these supposed causes. 

The second division of causes, consisting in modes of tem- 
perature, cannot be dismissed so briefly ; because physic, with 
its usual laxity of language, has even enumerated all the cir- 
cumstances, without the requisite discrimination. If they 
were really causes of fever, it is difficult to see how any one 
should escape ; or, rather, there would be found a certain 
average, or certain averages, of fevers equably spread over 
certain average climates all over the world, which is not the 
fact. I must make the discrimination here, for physic, which 
it has not itself done. 

The operations of temperature must consist in certain states, 
or changes, which can be defined. It may be continuous 
cold, or a mean heat, which we may, perhaps, safely take 
about 40'' (I need not be accurate here) ; or it may be conti- 
nuous heat, which, in a similar loose way, may be taken at 65°; 
or it may consist in sudden transitions from cold to heat, or 
the reverse. It is generally esteemed that the effect of mois- 
ture is dependent on temperature, or is a mode of the action 
of that cause : should it be thought otherwise, it may be dis- 
tinguished into excess or defect. Such is a more accurate 

JULY — SEPT. 1828. E 

^ Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board, 

definition as to this set of causes. Let us examine their 

Fever cannot be the produce of cold, because it does not 
occur as a consequence of cold climates or cold seasons ; and, 
still more remarkably, when the causes of malaria are present, 
fevers which are non-contagious do not occur in winter. And, 
on the contrary side, they do not occur in those hot and sandy 
tropical regions, where there is no water, and little or no vege- 
tation ; and where the heat is generally far more extreme than 
in those of an opposite character. Again, with respect to 
transitions from cold to heat, this is a common occurrence in 
such countries as Canada and Siberia, in spring, and yet, if 
marshes are not present, no fever is the consequence. Of the 
reverse nature, or of sudden and frequent transitions from heat 
to cold, there can be no examples more complete than the 
burning deserts of Africa, where hot days are followed by ex- 
tremely cold nights, and where, yet, fevers are notoriously not 
produced. If physic was in the habit of examining its facts 
before it drew its conclusions, it might have escaped many 
more unfounded ones with which it is filled, than this. 

If the supposed effects of moisture in excess are dependent 
on its connexion with temperature, the same reasoning is ap- 
plicable. If, on the contrary, mere moisture can act in pro- 
ducing fevers, by its excess, a fog, from any quarter, should 
be equally productive of these diseases; whereas I have shown, 
in the Essay on Malaria, that this never happens from the fogs 
that arrive from the west to us, from the wide ocean anywhere, 
from even on land in winter, when vegetation and heat are 
dormant, nor from the moist or foggy atmosphere of a moun- 
tainous region, where the fog is the ordinary cloud. Where 
fever is the apparent produce of such a moist atmosphere, it 
is where there are sufficient reasons to believe that it is the 
vehicle of malaria, and that it acts only as it contains that 
ascertained source of fever. As to defect of moisture, it can 
only act as producing evaporation from the body in an unusual 
degree ; and it is thus a case to be argued on the general 
considerations already offered on this supposed cause. 

Thus have I gone through all the supposed causes of non- 
contagious fever, having also, as I trust, shown that no proof 

Dr. Mac CuUoch on Malaria on Ship-board. 51 

whatever has been offered of their power in producing these 
diseases, and that there is not even a probability that they are 
the real causes which they have so long been supposed, though 
they may well be aiding ones, either as they render the body 
more susceptible of the action of these, or as they may be in 
some cases the very vehicle of the true cause, or the poison in 
question. And I cannot help thinking that, in any other science 
than physic, such reasoning would be satisfactory : unfortu- 
nately, this one has never yet guided itself by the ordinary 
rules of philosophy, nor been accustomed to the severity of 
logic ; so that against its modes of faith, philosophy and logic 
are arrayed in vain. 

But its errors are those of imperfect observation in this 
case, and are founded on a fallacy which it will not be very 
difficult to explain. Fevers, non-contagious ones, are proved 
to be produced where vegetable decomposition abounds most, 
or is most rapid ; or wherever that unknown substance called 
Malaria, as contained in the air which has obtained this term 
from its effects, is present. And such fevers are also proved to 
increase with the increase and activity of these causes, for- 
merly explained ; to diminish with their diminution, and to 
disappear with their disappearance. This in itself approaches 
to a demonstration that here Ues the real cause : in any other 
science, in any science which was not governed by phrase- 
ology and prejudices, it would be considered demonstration. 

But the fallacy becomes plain. All the imaginary causes 
which I have been discussing, exist everywhere, and they must 
needs exist, therefore, where malaria does. They can always 
be traced, while malaria has been neglected ; while, in our own 
country in particular, the medical world has remained ignorant 
of it, or has most unaccountably thought fit to forget what has 
been well known, if never so accurately known as it ought to 
have been. It is always easy to have recourse to an obvious 
cause: under the prejudices of physic, those which I have 
been arguing against have been selected, habitually and tra- 
ditionally ; and thus those which were but the accessory causes 
often not even that, have been invested with the title of ori- 
ginal or true causes. 

Here I think I may drop this subject, leaving these argu- 

E 2 

52 Dr. Mac Cullocli on Malaria on Ship-hoard. 

ments to make such impression as may be their fortune. As I 
do not wish to enter here on the question of predisposing causes ; 
and as I have shown that malaria is really present in thou- 
sands of cases where it is not now suspected, there will scarcely 
be any difficulty, with due attention, of tracing the real cause 
of those fevers which are not contagious. In the case imme- 
diately before us, I have shown that it exists in ships, even at 
sea, the produce of the vessel itself, and on the general prin- 
ciple of vegetable decomposition. 

To conclude, if I do not, myself, perceive the defects in the 
logic of this argument, I can have no objection to see them 
pointed out, since my object is to discover Truth ; never yet 
having comprehended what else there was worthy of the pur- 
suit of a rational being. And on this ground I may venture, 
rather, however, for the sake of professional than strictly popu- 
lar readers, to offer a few remarks, somewhat more specific, on 
the fevers of nosological and systematic writers. 

I have stated two fevers, or two species (using that word in 
its widest sense) of fever, perfectly distinguished by their pro- 
perty of being communicated or not, and equally distinguished 
by their causes — exciting causes, in medical phraseology. The 
Plague is another fever of a distinct character : the eruptive 
fevers, smallpox, scarlatina, and so forth, form a different set 
of species ; and, besides all these, there is a fever attending on 
local disorders — on inflammation or disorganization. The 
question is, are there any other fevers ? any fevers besides 
these last, which are not modifications of the fever of conta- 
gion, or the fever of marshes ? If there are any still received, 
I may safely now, I believe, reduce them to the modern sim- 
plicity, by ranking them under the Synocha and the Synochus of 
Cullen. May these not be reduced still lower, or ranked under 
one or other of the Two Fevers ? I think that they probably 
can ; and if so, we have but two fevers, and two causes of 
fever. As to the disorder itself, as it exists, it will then con- 
sist in nothing but varieties; and if this can be established, it 
is equally important, both in the view of practice and pre- 
vention, — to say nothing of the satisfaction which arises from 
generalization and simplification, and of the facility which 
these add to all our reasonings, and to our practice also. 

Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board, 53 

The contagious fever, or typhus, varies exceedingly in the 
degree of severity ; and this is also true of marsh fever. And 
while the term putrid fever has been applied to extreme cases 
of the former, slighter fevers, supposed to belong to the same 
species, have been popularly called low fever, and nervous 
fever, and so forth ; while these terms have also been adopted 
by physicians. Referring to the above-mentioned remarks on 
the causes of fever, to what is here generally said on this 
subject, and to all that physic really knows about fevers, or de- 
termining not to follow the common lax language and reasoning 
of this branch of science, but to limit myself to that which is 
known and proved, such a low or nervous fever must belong to 
one or other of these species ; namely, the contagious, or the 
marsh fever, because physic cannot prove another species and 
a third cause. 

Now it is true that a fever of this mild description can be 
produced by contagion, and the proof is, that such instances 
will occur, in an epidemic period, among severe cases ; while also 
such a mild disease will propagate itself, and even produce a 
severe case ; and while, further, the very cause may some- 
times be traced, for such an individual instance, in the expo- 
sure to a contagion. But I am very certain that if the very 
great majority of such mild fevers were carefully examined, 
they would be found to appertain to the marsh fever ; while 
the error here is only a part of that general error of which I 
have been treating. And, but for this standing and almost 
universal error, physicians ought to have perceived this long 
ago, and might ascertain it every day. They should have 
believed it always, and ought to believe it now, because they 
can trace no contagion whence these fevers could have arisen, 
and because they are dispersed cases occurring everywhere, 
and without the existence of any epidemic to which they 
could belong. If it does happen that many occur in one 
neighbourhood, or even, perhaps, in one house, thus giving 
the false impression of an epidemic and a contagion, I have 
already shown how this is the consequence of exposure to a 
common cause. 

But there are other circumstances indicating the same thing. 
There can be no fever without a cause ; there are but two 

54 Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board, 

causes proved : if it is not contagion, it must be miasma, or 
malaria. And, as I have formerly shown, this cause is widely 
spread : while, very certainly, these low, nervous fevers will be 
found to occur or prevail chiefly or solely where that cause 
exists, and while also the ver)^ individual cause, the exposure, 
can itself be often traced with care. Further, this low fever 
will be found chiefly to prevail in the very period and season 
of malaria ; as its range is that of summer, and chiefly of 
autumn, extending as far with us, often, as Christmas. 

And, lastly, the disorder itself has a peculiarity of character 
which ought always to have explained its true nature and 
cause. It does not propagate itself, as I formerly remarked of 
these fevers generally ; while physicians, pursuing the same 
systematic error, have, not without plausibility, according to 
their own views, attributed this, in all such cases, to the mild^ 
ness or slight severity of the case or disease. Still more, the 
mild fevers arising from contagion, or the real typhus mitior of 
nosology, is commonly short in duration, while slender in point 
of severity. But the very reverse is the common character of 
the nervous fever which is most common ; or its duration is 
commonly very great, even when it is so slight as scarcely to 
disable the patient. And, on this, I may remark generally, 
that if three weeks is a very general average duration for true 
typhus, the very mild cases will not last so long ; while four, 
or five, or six being the much more common extent of remit- 
tent or marsh fever, so will that form the period of the very 
mildest nervous fever that exists, as arising from malaria. And 
whenever a very mild fever does last many weeks, there being 
no relapse, we may be quite sure that its cause is malaria ; that 
it is a marsh fever, not typhus mitior. Thus, also, a relapse 
is rare in the very mild contagious fever, while it is so common 
in the marsh fevers, of whatever degree of severity, that we 
almost pronounce with certainty on its character, if there is 
even one relapse ; most certainly and confidently, if there 
should be more than one, or if the symptoms should spin out 
to an interminable length. 

There is one other fact, very common in these mild fevers ; 
and it is, at the same time, both so remarkable, and so charac- 
teristic, that it is only wonderful how it should be so very gene- 

Dr. Mac CuUoch on Malaria on Ship-board, 55 

rally, or rather universally, overlooked ; why it did not explain, 
at all times, to every physician, the real nature of these low 
or nervous fevers, explanatory, or rather demonstrative, as it 
is. And it is not less remarkable, that it is a very common 
event in those extremely short fevers which have been called 
inflammatory fever, as I shall presently notice. It did not 
require this, among other examples of neglect, to prove how 
very mechanically physic is generally practised ; what an utter 
routine it is in the hands of the great majority ; how the mass 
follows whatever schools have taught or fashion may dictate, 
without inquiry or reflection. If any physician will watch 
these fevers when they are diminishing or terminating, he will 
generally find that the disorder assumes a distinct intermittent 
character ; slight enough, it is true, as an intermittent fever, but 
still having a due proportion to the original continued one — 
exactly that proportion, in reality, which a regular and marked 
intermittent does to the remittent marsh fever, of which it is 
the representative, or the progress. This in itself is a proof of 
the nature of the first or original disorder ; for it is most cer- 
tain that the contagious fever, or typhus, is not convertible into 
intermittent, and does not terminate in this manner. That this 
has been supposed, I know ; but it is only a continuation of 
the same general error — the original error of mistaking marsh 
fever for typhus — of mistaking the cases in question. 

I do not say that this slender intermittent, as the termination 
or subsidence of a slender low fever, is not obscure ; but I do 
say that every physician ought to be able to perceive it, while I 
have little doubt that, having thus been pointed out, they will 
be able to do so hereafter. And it is somewhat remarkable, 
while not unamusing, to observe, that it is perpetually cured 
by a sort of fashion or routine practice, while the prac- 
titioner himself does not perceive what he is doing ; not very 
well knowing, indeed, what he intended to do by his prescrip- 
tions. I allude to the practice of administering bark, " bark 
draughts," after such fevers, and in what is deemed the con- 
valescent state, on the general and mechanical notion of remov- 
ing debility by tonics ; the word debility and the term tonic 
having pretty nearly the same meaning — namely, no meaning 
at all. The cure, in this case, is not that of either convales- 

56 Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board. 

cence or debility ; it is, very simply, the cure of an intermit- 
tent ; and thus also does change of air, as it is called, restore 
such patients, after long dragging on under what is called 
convalescence — on the same principle as it cures a marked 
intermittent fever, and, not seldom, by removing the patient 
from the original and perpetually-renewing cause of the dis- 
ease. Such protracted convalescence, extremely common, 
not only after these slight cases, but after all fevers, is always, 
in fact, an intermittent, though never observed, and, perhaps, 
overlooked, partly because the original disorder was mistaken ; 
and I need not say how valuable this view, and a greater cor- 
rectness in distinguishing contagious from marsh fever, will 
become in practice, particularly when it is recollected to what 
an indefinite time the debility, often of mind as well as body, 
is frequently protracted, and how often, I am sorry to say, 
very injurious positive practices, to say nothing of neglect, are 
resorted to under false views of the nature of the evil. And I 
have little doubt, that while the supposed utility of bark in 
contagious fevers has been grounded on the great and. common 
error which forms the fundamental object of these remarks, so 
have the interminable disputes on this subject proceeded from 
the fact, that some of the disputers have been treating the 
marsh fever, without being aware of it, while others have been, 
under equal confusion, referring to the true typhus, the conta- 
gious disease. 

In illustrating at some length, but not more than was neces- 
sary, the mild or nervous fever, and in explaining that the 
typhus mitior of nosology is generally, or commonly, the 
marsh fever, or a modification of remittent, I have left little to 
say as to the only other fevers which require some explanation 
on the same ground. 

The first of these is the synochus, of Cullen's nosology. I 
do not pretend to doubt that a contagious typhus fever may 
commence with one class of symptoms, and terminate with 
another. But for a marsh fever to commence with what are 
called inflammatory symptoms, and to proceed to, and termi- 
nate with the reverse, is so extremely common, that I must, at 
least, suspect that a very large proportion of the cases esteemed 
synochus have really been instances of this fever. And that, 

Dr. Mac CuUoch on Malaria on Ship-board. 57 

in practice, now daily in England, this is the truth, is perfectly 
apparent; and will be so to every one, who, hereafter at least, 
shall take the trouble to study fevers with a somewhat differ- 
ent care than they have hitherto received. That CuUen's own 
notions of fever were not very clear or definite, may appear a 
very bold doubt, particularly to those whose physic has been 
derived from Edinburgh ; but it is not the only doubt, by very 
many, which arises on studying, after twenty or thirty years of 
far other studies, works which, in that boyhood of knowledge 
which continues to be perpetuated through successive genera- 
tions, it would have been almost a crime to have not wondered 
at — to be wondered at now, in a very different manner. It is, 
however, an excuse for him, and one which I am pleased that 
I can make, that the comparative rarity of marsh fever in 
Scotland had probably deprived him of the means of forming 
very clear ideas on that subject, though in his day they were 
far from uncommon in Edinburgh ; that he had formed his 
notions on systematic writings, of a very vague nature for the 
most part, and that seeing, habitually, contagious fever among 
the poor of his city, he had made this disease his leading base 
and ground of judgment. 

The last of these diseases, of simple fevers, requiring notice, 
is the synocha, or inflammatory fever, in popular language. 
Its general characters are known ; but what is the cause of a 
fever in which there is no topical affection, which is not symp- 
tomatic, and which does not arise from contagion? Cold, 
heat, any thing else which physicians please ; but if still with- 
out local affection, what is its character, and whence does it 
arise ? I do not pretend to say : but it is proper that they 
also who have defined and described such a fever, should refer it 
to some general principle ; that the science of physic may not 
for ever wander about among words. This much is believed by 
those foreign physicians who have paid the most attention to 
marsh fever ; namely, that an intermittent (if this term is here 
admissible), or a fever produced by a marsh, may be limited to 
a single fit. Of course, it may extend to two, or more ; and 
thus the continued remittent (if I may coin a convenient 
phrase) may occupy any period, from one, to two, three or 
more days, onwards. Such a fever, in all its appearances, is 

58 Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board. 

the inflammatory fever, or the synocha of nosology ; and its 
termination is very often that which I have already noticed as 
the nervous fever — or it ends in a slender intermittent : in this 
form, and this only, it has yet occurred to myself. If it had 
another character and another cause, I should be pleased to see 
that demonstrated, not asserted : though 1 must not terminate 
this slight remark on this surely obscure disease, without re^ 
minding my readers that I have never assumed malaria to be 
the sole and indispensable cause of even decided intermittent 
fever. It appears to be the far prevalent one, but it is not de^ 
monstrated to be absolutely exclusive. 

I do not think that I could have dispensed with these pre- 
liminary remarks on fevers in general, in examining the ques^ 
tion especially in hand, that most important and serious ques- 
tion, what are the prevailing, or ordinary fevers which occur in 
ships ? Without these, all that I might have said would still 
have left a ground of evasion and cavil, or at least a demand 
on the general principles of the decision. That the remarks 
have run into some detail will, I hope, be compensated by their 
utility ; and I trust, that even independently of their bearings 
on the main question, the mere excitement of such an inquiry, 
mere doubts as to what is received, will effect some good ; 
while if they should be true, they cannot fail to be widely be- 
neficial. I may therefore proceed to this question, as it relates 
to ships ; and in a political and commercial view, to the naval 
service, and that of our vast commerce, and to the important 
consequences which flow from the health or otherwise of their 

It surely cannot be necessary to say much as to the particu- 
lar necessity of health in the crews of ships, in whatever ser- 
vice ; on the very peculiar and perilous consequences of bad 
health, or of sickness, disability, death, or prevailing mortality. 
On shore, a sick man finds his substitute in any service ; and 
a dead man is so soon replaced, that death never concerns any 
one but the immediate dependents and sufferers. It is far 
otherwise at sea. For the sick, as for the dead, there is no 
substitute ; and when a definite labour has been allotted to a 
definite number, every diminution of the number of labourers 
is loss or inconvenience — often, ruin. Merchants, owners, and 

Dr. Mac CuUoch on Malaria on Ship-board, 59 

commanders, will easily answer this question as it regards their 
own profits and losses ; though the readers of" this paper would 
scarcely even conjecture the answer, or might pass the whole 
subject with little notice. The very insurers at Lloyds can 
often answer it; for they know well how often the disability 
of a crew through ill health, through fevers, in fact, has been 
the cause of averages or losses, which they would gladly have 
prevented had they known how, and which it is no small part 
of the object of this essay to diminish or control. And I 
cannot help thinking, that even that great and respectable body 
of merchants will, before long, see their own interests in this 
matter — while not less open, as their history has proved, to the 
claims of humanity ; and that whenever conviction shall reach 
them, ihey will, through the well-known means lodged in their 
hands, promulgate, or even compel a system of regulations for 
insured ships, analogous to those which I shall hereafter pro- 
pose as to the naval service. 

As to that service, in the case of the periods of war in par- 
ticular, the inconveniences of bad health amongst the crews 
are matters of history ; and no small volume, while a most ter- 
rific one, might be produced to show what have been the con* 
sequences of bad health in the navy. And this bad health, 
to use the popular term, is fever ; or it is, at least, that in 
general : a sickly ship, in sea phraseology, is a ship with fevers. 
Formerly, the scurvy was an additional evil, now happily 
quelled. The history of the Havannah expedition, as given by 
Smollett, is one of those fearful records, of which naval history 
could furnish many more, if none perhaps so striking ; and even 
the readers of Roderick Random may, from this tale, form a 
sufficient idea of what they have not consulted in the serious 
memoir of the same unhappy adventure. 

If the miseries of Anson's most romantic and almost incre- 
dible expedition were not the exact consequences of fever, they 
will, at least, serve to prove what sickness can effect as to the 
service of the navy ; and when the writer of this paper knew 
one instance of a merchant vessel, steered, heaven knows 
how, into the Havannah, by the captain, lashed to the helm by 
himself, in a fever, with part of his crew sick and dead below, 
and the remainder delirious and rioting on the deck ; when an 

60 Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board. 

English frigate picked up at sea a slave-vessel drifting under 
the guidance of a crew, of which every individual was blind, 
even to the slaves themselves ; these are extreme cases, per- 
haps, yet to which parallels of some sort could be found, and 
from fevers alone, throughout the whole history of our com- 
merce and of our naval service. 

It cannot, therefore, fail to be a most important object to 
check or destroy the production and propagation of fevers in 
ships : since, if these are excluded, the crew of a ship is, now 
that the scurvy has disappeared through proper regulations, 
scarcely subject to any serious ill-health, or causes of mortality, 
at least, except from accidents. A ship at sea, barring this 
disease, is a far more healthy position than the shore, almost 
anywhere ; and the events have proved it such in every case, 
as is apparent from the history of voyages of discovery beyond 
numbering. The reasons ought to be obvious : at any rate, I 
ought not to prolong this paper by pointing them out. Could 
that which I am desirous of enforcing be effected, as I think it 
can, the consequences even to commerce would be most bene- 
ficial ; in the naval service they would be even greater ; while 
a very little consideration ought to show to every one, what I 
should not here be justified in detaihng, at the hazard of occu- 
pying another page. 

And the mode of proceeding for this end must be to deter- 
mine, first, what is the exact nature of the fevers which occur 
on board of ships ; secondly, what are the causes of them ; and 
lastly, having ascertained these, how they are to be removed, 
or their consequences prevented. A portion of this task is 
nearly accomplished in the preceding remarks on fevers : the rest 
will not occupy much space ; and if what I have said, and shall 
add, should prove well founded, I cannot help thinking that a 
most important set of facts have been ascertained in medical 
and statistical science, and that the consequences will prove 
most widely beneficial. 

No one can doubt that contagious fever occurs on board of 
ships, while the causes through which it may be introduced, 
and those which would make it spread, are obvious. I should 
be among the last indeed to desire to subvert this opinion, 
highly dangerous as I view that modern and yet limited dogma 

Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board, Gl 

which has undertaken to deny the existence of contagion, even 
in the plague. I should be among the last for another reason-— 
and that is, experience ; a wide experience in the ordnance 
transport service during the war, both of the fact itself, and of 
the value of fumigations in exterminating the contagion. Yet 
it will be found, on a most careful examination, that this disease, 
typhus, forms a very small portion of all the fevers occurring 
on ship-board, and particularly of late years, since the great 
improvements which have been made in the economy of ships, 
the improved education of our naval surgeons, and the better 
understanding on the subject of contagion and its management, 
which has taken place in modern times. 

^^ Not to go over again all the reasons for this opinion, which 
can be extracted partly from this paper, and partly from the 
work on malaria, and that on marsh fever, it is almost a suffi- 
cient general proof of it, that the fever of ships occurs chiefly in 
warm climates, and in tropical regions of course most fre- 
quently ; or generally in the circumstances where malaria is 
existent. To a certain degree, this has been familiarly known 
to naval surgeons from all times, as could not fail, in the case 
of crews, whether in boats or otherwise, subjected to the action 
of a pestilent marsh, a river, or shore. And while it has long 
been understood that the common " yellow fever" of the West 
Indies is not a contagious disorder, there could not have been 
any difficulty in perceiving that seamen on board, exposed to 
the same causes, must have suffered from a similar disease. 
Yet, in other circumstances, and where the disease has been 
precisely the same in nature, if perhaps differing in some ap- 
pearances, it has been considered a typhus ; a mistake far too 
easy to make, when the manner in which such a fever appears 
to spread in a ship is considered, when the characteristics of 
the two kinds of fever are often not to be distinguished, and 
when also, if Pringle is right, the marsh fever can, under con- 
finement, even produce the contagious one, or is actually con- 
verted into it. 

The particularly evil consequences of this mistake, in such 
a case, are apparent ; though, perhaps, the actual treatment of 
the patient will not be much affected by the error. The cause 
remaining unknown, there can be no fit method of prevention 

62 Dr. Mac CuUoch on Malaria on Ship-hoard, 

adopted ; and there is none : while much toil and inconveni- 
ence also are often incurred in attempting to control an ima- 
nary contagion. The great object of this paper therefore is to 
point out those causes, that they may be removed, and with 
that, such diseases prevented ; and if it was first necessary to 
explain the differences in fevers, and to show how easily mis- 
takes must arise, that object is now sufficiently accomplished. 

There are two great and distinct causes whence ships are 
exposed to malaria ; while if the one has been long familiar, 
serious errora have nevertheless taken place as to the power of 
this, and as to the modes in which the danger was incurred. 
The other has never, as far as I can discover, been pointed out 
in any medical or other writings, till it was indicated in the 
Essay on Malaria ; while, from being the least suspected, and 
from its power of occurring in any ship, in any climate and 
season, and even at sea, it is the most important one. Against 
both, precautions are necessary ; and against both, they are 
available; while, for both cases, they are different. I must 
explain both here in somewhat greater detail than I did in the 
Essay on Malaria, for the purpose of the two distinct sets of 
regulations which ought to be founded on them for the objects 
of prevention. 

Communication with the shore, in a climate or country pro- 
ductive of malaria, is the cause generally known to medical 
men as generating fevers in ships. But the error here has 
chiefly been that of not attending to the distance to which this 
influence extended; practically also, that of neglecting such 
precautions in ordinary cases, as ought to be well known : 
which, in fact, are known, but are passed over from thoughtless- 
ness, or from want of recent writings urging, or repeating that 
which many have forgotten, and others have not acquired. 

I have shown distinctly, that malaria is currently propagated 
to distances of at least three miles ; and I have given ample 
reason to believe, in the Essay on Malaria, (I mean in the 
book itself,) that this influence is very far more widely effective. 
I have indeed decidedly ascertained since, the instantaneous 
production of fever through a land breeze, at five miles, to a 
ship at anchor. Thus it is, apparently, that fevers occur so 
commonly in ships on nearing the tropical lands ; and hence 

Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board, 63 

the calentures, (calentura) as they were formerly termed, of 
which we read in our old voyages under these circumstances. 
Such an event will happen chiefly under leeward positions as 
to the vessel, and of course will occur with land winds, where 
there are winds of this nature on any shore. And it is also 
evident how this will occur chiefly at night ; because this is 
not only the period of the land wind, but because the mere in- 
fluence of evening and morning, or of night altogether, in the 
production or propagation of malaria is very considerable, as I 
have elsewhere shown. Thus chiefly we explain the effects of 
dews in these climates, as the vehicle of the poison. And if a 
ship is ever so situated as to the land, as to have her decks 
covered with dew in the morning, that is in itself a proof that 
she is within the reach of danger, and ought to be moved ; 
while I need not say that such dews are actually the perpetual 
causes of fever to the men of the night watches. And here 
also we may see the necessity of reducing those watches to the 
least possible number of men, if the circumstances of the ship 
do not allow her to leave her position, or weigh and stand out 
to sea at night. ^ 

And as to the land wind, I may give one general rule appli- 
cable to all circumstances of ships engaged in tropical climates, 
or in warm ones generally. It is always attended by that smell 
of land which is better known than it is easy to describe, and 
which many delicate or experienced individuals can perceive 
at great distances. And while I have no doubt, from the facts 
and reasonings given in the Essay on Malaria, that this sub- 
stance can be conveyed as far as the smell of land is percep- 
tible, it would be prudent, whenever that can be done, in such 
a climate, to weigh and run to sea, and particularly, of course, 
during the night, when the danger is augmented. And there 
are circumstances in which a vessel should not even wait for 
the breeze, but be at least a-trip and ready to get under weigh 
at the instant it comes to blow ; since in one instance which I 
have noticed in that essay, in these very circumstances, and 
even where the captain of a frigate was habitually attentive to 
this precaution, to such a degree indeed as to order all the su- 
perfluous men below on this shift of wind, the armourer was 
seized with the fatal cholera, in the very act of clearing an 

64 Dr. Mac CuUoch on Malaria on Ship-hoard, 

obstruction in the chain cable, while others of the crew, un- 
avoidably employed on deck, also died in a few hours of 
the same disease ; the attack having attended, in an instant, 
the first perception of the land smell. And if this is an ex- 
treme case, it is precisely the one required as a proof of the 
truth and value of these remarks. In ordinary circumstances, 
the disease would have been a fever; but coming on less de- 
cidedly, and easily attributed to other causes, the same reason- 
ing would not have been deduced from it. And if the mere 
delay of a few minutes in this case, arising from the accident 
to the cable, was, in the captain's own estimation, the cause of 
this loss, I must also remark, that the vessel was then about 
five miles from the shore. How much Blane and others have 
erred, and how dangerously, in fixing on one thousand, and 
on three thousand yards, as the utmost limit of the range of 
malaria in these cases, I need not say. 

The other circumstances in which ships and their crews are 
exposed to the malaria of the shore, are more familiar and 
admitted; however much the necessary precautions are for 
ever neglected. I can afford to be comparatively brief, there- 
fore, on these ; and their enumeration will complete all that is 
necessary as to the first leading cause of fevers, or of marsh 
fevers, in ships. 

The general cause of evil in this case, is familiarity with the 
shore ; the landing of men, mider whatever circumstances, in 
situations where malaria exists. The danger is evidently greater 
as the harbour or anchorage is most exposed to the effluvia of 
marshes or jungles ; but I need not here repeat circumstances 
which were pointed out in the former essay. That it is also 
greatest at night, or between sunset and sunrise, has been 
further shown ; so that, on both these considerations, addi- 
tional precautions ought to be founded. And it has so hap- 
pened, in general, from obvious enough causes, that most of the 
tropical towns and harbours are situated in the most unhealthy 
spots : while, not seldom, a bad one has been chosen where a 
salubrious one was equally convenient, or, as in the case of 
Batavia, artificial means have, by their adoption, rendered that 
which was naturally bad still worse. And the same indeed is 
too often true, even in Europe, as in the Mediterranean : the 

Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board. 65 

ignorance of the days in which these places were chosen, hav- 
ing combined with their convenience, while, in too many of 
them, modern nations have neglected those remedies or means 
of improvement respecting which the ancients showed so much 

In practice, it is the duty of the commanders of ships to 
avoid all that can be avoided respecting communication with 
the shore, through the landing of men, and particularly in per- 
nicious spots, or at dangerous hours ; while an enumeration of 
the former would comprise the geography of half the sea-ports 
of the globe. In ships of war particularly, where this really 
can be effected, men ought never to be permitted on shore upon 
leave at night, nor even officers, though the hazard to them is 
less; and when it is supposed, as is not uncommon, that the 
men affected with fever, have caught a contagious fever from 
improper communication, it will be found that the disease is 
simply the marsh fever thus induced. Thus, also, ships of war 
can procure their stores from the depots and dock-yards, as 
for example, at Port Royal, Jamaica, and at St. Lucia, through 
launches or shore boats, by means of natives or negroes im- 
passive to the effects of malaria ; and in this way can such 
vessels often avoid anchoring, at least near to the shore, or 
even contrive to run out to sea every night. How far merchant 
vessels can attend to these precautions must depend on the 
nature of their particular affairs with the shore and on the 
strength of their crews ; very materially also it will depend on 
the character of the captain — on his discernment, docility, 
humanity, and the interest he may feel for his owners. But 
I need not pursue what I have here said through details more 
minute, as the ramifications ought not to be difficult to conceive. 

And this is not speculative matter : the practice in question 
has been tried by many enlightened and active officers, when 
their own discernment had taught where the danger lay, and 
with the most marked success. I need not quote more than two 
instances, though I could easily accumulate many more. The 
first is the case of Captain Smyth, well known through his 
account of Sicily, and his long and laborious surveys in the 
Mediterranean ; and so successful did these several attentions 
prove, that he did not lose a man, or suffer from a fever during 

JULY— SEPT. 1828. F 

66 Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-hoard. 

the many years he was employed there, in every harbour and 
on every coast of Spain, Italy, Greece, and Africa, and ne- 
cessarily under the most intimate communication with places 
as pestiferous as any in the world. 

This is a case comprising a long-continued train of the ex- 
periments and precautions in question, and nothing cati be 
conceived more satisfactory. The only other instance which 1 
shall quote, is, as a solitary case, not less remarkable. It is 
from Admiral Sir Henry Baynton, who informs me, that when 
in the command of the Quebec and Nereide frigates at Jamaica, 
he was in the habit, like others, of anchoring near the dock- 
yard at Port Royal, the pestilent marsh near which is well 
known, and that he invariably carried to sea a fever by which 
he lost many men. Perceiving the cause, and that cause the 
one which I have here stated ; he determined to change his 
plan, when afterwards in the command of the Cumberland, 74, 
by anchoring at a greater distance ; and though he was de- 
tained in port during most of the hurricane months, or the 
most sickly season, he, to his own great surprise, as he states 
it, but by using the several precautions which it is the object 
of this paper to point out, retained his whole crew in as good 
health " as if they had been in the British Channel," there not 
being one man on the sick list in a crew of 590 men : an in- 
stance, probably, scarcely known in naval records. 

Here there is an example of what may be done by the com- 
bination of knowledge and attention on the part of a comman- 
der, even in the most unhealthy climates and situations ; while 
the contrasts which I might easily draw between this and the 
histories of other ships in similar circumstances, would present 
a most extraordinary, and a not less fearful picture ; though I 
must avoid what would give pain to many individuals still 
living, and even through those that are dead, to many more. 
Let those, however, who wish to see what such a contrast 
can be, read Smollett's account to which I formerly referred ; 
and then ask themselves whether these speculations are 
visionary, or whether, on the contrary, the deepest blame does 
not attach to all those who have suffered such atrocities, as it 
will continue to do to all those who shall suffer them hereafter, 
■where all possess the same power as the excellent officer whom 

Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-hoard, 67 

1 have here brought forward as authority. And though I might 
refer to the journals of the several ships under his command, 
contrasting them with those of the same ships under other com- 
manders, I wish to avoid doing this, from feeling that I cannot 
allot him the praise which he so highly deserves, without an 
implication of blame on his predecessors and followers in the 
same vessels. And the same reason induces me to suppress 
even some other names where I might equally have allotted 
praise ; as, though the readers of this journal may not be aware 
of it, the records of the Admiralty, and the personal knowledge 
of individuals in the navy, would easily point out those officers 
to whose neglect there has been owing a loss of life, with in- 
convenience to the service, and an expenditure of the public 
money, implied in the loss of those lives, which it is most pain- 
ful to think of, especially when we know how easily all this 
might have been avoided. 

There is but one other modification of the connexion of 
ships with the shore in tropical and insalubrious climates, which 
seems to demand a specific notice, and for the sake of the precau- 
tions applicable to it, under this division of the general subject 
of the influence of malaria on the healths and lives of seamen. 
I allude to a particular class of service which, as perhaps most 
common on the coast of Africa, is best understood by this 
allusion. It is the sending boats on shore, for the purposes, 
among others, of wooding and watering. The consequences 
are but too well known : fevers of the worst class, and a very 
general or common mortality, often highly inconvenient, put- 
ting out of question all views of mere humanity. I have said, 
in the general Essay on Malaria, that much of this service 
ought not to be performed by good seamen, and would be a 
fitting labour for convicts ; and that it is difficult to compre- 
hend the policy which allots, as punishment to those who have 
forfeited their lives to the state, the best of climates and the 
most salubrious of occupations, while what almost amounts to 
a condemnation to death, is the lot of innocent and of valuable 

And on this subject, as at least an easy and specific remedy, 
1 have the experience of Captain Coffin to state ; who, in these 
circumstances, applied for a party of negroes from the shore, 


68 Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board. 

and who, in consequence, preserved the lives of his crew, which 
he must otherwise have lost in the usual proportion. And his 
recommendation is, that a ship, or more, of no value, should 
be kept on the African coast, to be the receptacle of volunteer 
negroes for this particular service ; a matter easily accom- 
plished, and of which the consequences could not fail to be 
most beneficial. As to ordinary precautions, in the case of 
seamen, it should be an invariable rule to suffer no boat to 
enter a river, or to be on shore at all, between sunset and sun- 
rise ; and further, to prevent, as far as possible, any such boat 
from being on the shore, or in a river at low water, — as that is 
the period when, from the exposure of the mud, the malaria is 
active, while its presence is betrayed by the very smell. 

Among other precautions, applicable to particular cases, I 
stated in the Essay on Malaria, and from African authority, 
that the lighting of fires in the service of cutting wood was 
found to be an effectual preventive; and it will be easy for 
any ofHcer to see in what exact cases it may be applied. It is 
another general precaution, applicable to every case of this 
nature, every service of seamen on shore in a hot climate, 
never to suffer men to go on shore, nor even to be on the 
deck in harbour, further than as the watches are concerned, 
before breakfast, or without at least some allowance of 
spirits; since, in every case, this precaution has been found 
of great use, as the standing practice of Holland fully tes- 
tifies. And, for the same reason, the smoking of to- 
bacco, which, from obvious motives, is discouraged in ships, 
ought not only to be permitted, but commanded ; since ample 
experience has also shown its great utility. To suffer no men 
to be unnecessarily on deck when near the shore, is a pre- 
caution to be deduced from what has already been said ; and 
this rule offers a particularly obvious reason for reducing the 
night-watches, in particular, to the lowest admissible number. 
With respect to some of these circumstances, and very remark- 
ably as to the dangerous influence of the morning, as well as 
the evening, the experience of India offers some very remark- 
able illustrations ; as the great losses of men have always 
occurred in those regiments where a martinet feeling in the 
commanding officer (as the phrase is) has led to the regulair 

I)r. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board, 69 

drilling of the men before sunrise, that they might avoid the 
imaginary evil effects of the heat of the day. I use the term 
imaginary with little scruple, convinced that there is incom- 
parably less danger at this period than at any other. There 
is always much alarm, it is true, at what is called a coup de 
soleil ; an unlucky term, producing the same consequences on 
the mind as other terms do. I do not say that phrenitis, or, 
perhaps, common fever may not arise from this cause ; but it 
is abundantly plain, from every case of this nature which I 
have found accurately described, that such an imaginary coup 
de soleil, or effect of a hot sun, is, in reality, most generally 
the fever in question, produced at a very different time of the 
day generally, and from a very different cause ; though, from 
the natural effects of this prejudice and this term, easily attri- 
buted to the action of the sun. 

I have but one suggestion more to offer in the way of pre- 
vention, as to this usual source of the action of malaria on the 
crews of ships. All the people of Southern Europe think that 
it enters by the lungs ; and, in Malta, in Spain, in Italy, in 
Sardinia, perhaps, more widely, it is thought that the fever 
may be warded off in perilous situations, by stopping the 
mouth and nose : in Italy it is commonly held that a gauze 
veil is effectual. If this be fact, it is an easy remedy ; if it is 
still to be proved, there can be no better opportunity of proving 
its truth or otherwise, than on the African coast, by obliging 
any one boat's crew to use this expedient, and by trying what 
the results would be as compared to those with another boat, 
without this precaution. 

I have thus gone through, in as much detail as my space 
would afford, and in as much, I hope, as is really necessary for 
those who choose to reflect on this subject, the first great 
cause of the production of fevers in ships, from malaria ; and 
the modes of regulation and prevention which are applicable to 
that cause : it remains to examine the other. 

In the Essay on Malaria, I attempted to show that this poi- 
son was the produce of ships themselves, in circumstances 
independent of the land ; the principle being the same, and 
the poison generated by the action of water on the wood 
of the ship, — an ordinary instance, in reality, of vegetable de- 

Tfilf Dr. Mac CuUoch on Malaria on Ship-board, 

composition. I then quoted the case ofsugar-ships as especially 
in point ; and a further examination of facts has confirmed 
me in the belief, that the general fact is not to be questioned, 
and that this is the real cause of those fevers in ships, which 
are so commonly attributed to contagion deemed typhus ; never 
suspected to arise from malaria, and consequently not supposed 
to be, by any possibility, remittent or marsh fevers, because 
occurring at sea, or in circumstances where no exposure to an 
unhealthy coast has taken place. Not to accumulate specific 
cases, which ought really to be unnecessary, I will here note 
but one remarkable fact bearing on this point, where an officer 
was suddenly struck with what is called apoplexy on the open- 
ing of a water-cask, and has remained partially paralytic for 
life : the first effect, and the whole subsequent disease, being 
precisely what occurs in France and Italy so frequently, from 
a sudden and transient exposure to a peculiarly virulent or 
condensed malaria. 

This cause then, or bilge-water, is that source of malaria 
and fever in ships which may be deemed universal, because 
it can occur in almost any climate, and, under neglect, in any 
ship, even at sea, and without the least communication with 
the land. And if it should thus be produced, it can scarcely be 
guarded against, from the very circumstances of a ship ; so 
that it is peculiarly necessary that the cause itself should be 
remedied in limine. And it is least of all surprising that the 
fevers occurring from this cause, this mode of the presence of 
malaria, should have been considered as typhus, and as the 
produce of a contagion, casually received into the ship, and con- 
tinuing to act from adhering to the vessel itself or its furniture. 
It must always have appeared as the produce of the vessel 
itself, which it in fact was 5 while the unsuspected cause has 
led, in anxious hands, to fumigations, whitewashing, scower- 
ing, and all those other obvious remedies against contagion, 
which must ever have been inefficacious, as they, in fact, have 
proved ; because no precautions of this nature could have 
checked the action of a poison generated every hour, and sup- 
plied as fast as even ventilation could dissipate it. 

And if this very circumstance made it appear that the cause 
was contagion, so that has often appeared to be confirmed by 

Dr. Mac CuUoch on Malaria on Ship-beard. 71 

the fever in question always appearing to commence in some 
particular part of the vessel, and to spread from that point. 
And while the fact was and is so, it is one that aids in confirm- 
ing the very cause here assigned. It will depend on the. 
quality and construction of the particular vessel where, ex- 
actly, it is to appear ; but it will be found that such a fever 
commences about the cable-tier, or in some other place 
through which the air from the hold ascends, and that the men, 
most exposed to the bilge-water are exactly those who suffer 
most from it. 

I hope that I need not enter into much more detail as to 
this cause. It will naturally be a more active one in a hot 
climate than a cold, and with a crowded crew than a thin one : 
it will depend much on the cargo; and thus, as it is pecuharly 
notorious with sugar cargoes, has it also occurred very remark- 
ably with coffee and with corn ; some very remarkable instances 
of most destructive fevers from leakage with a corn cargo, 
being even familiar to those in any way acquainted with the 
ordinary commercial history of shipping. I have also reason 
to believe that a new ship is more subject to it than an old 
one, that is, if she should be leaky, or the pumps neglected ; 
just as a new cask is decomposed by water, and spoils that 
more readily than an old one. Thus also, which is useful know- 
ledge as matter of precaution, it occurs more readily with 
gravel or mud ballast, and less easily with iron ; while it ap- 
pears, also, that the malaria is most virulent in a ship which, 
from the abundance of vermin, of rats and cockroaches, for 
example, contains putrifying animal as well as vegetable mat- 
ter. It has been suspected, but not proved, that on shore, ii^ 
marshes and sewers, for instance, the addition of animal matter 
increased the production or virulence of malaria ; but if that 
has not been proved, the facts in question may, at least, give 
some colour to the suspicion. 

I have but one other remark to make on this cause, and it 
is one that, like all else, refers to matters of prevention. This 
is, that the closing or separation of a vessel by means of bulk- 
heads, adds very much to the evil, and very obviously, by 
impeding ventilation and the dissipation of the poison. And 
this is so far from speculative matter, that were it not for the 

72 Dr. Mac CuUoch on Malaria on Ship-hoards 

impropriety of mentioning names, now high in office as in rank, 
I could quote two pointed cases of ships of the hne, with equal 
crews, and on the same services, on the coast of Brazil, where, 
while the one lost a large number of men by the remittent 
fever, obviously generated in the vessel, the other preserved 
her health ; the difference of the two being, that the one was 
closed up by bulk-heads, and that the commander of the 
other, aware of their evil effects, had caused the whole to be 
cleared away. 

I hope that I need not dwell longer on this particular 
source of the fevers of ships : the precautions and modes of 
prevention to which these statements lead will occupy but little 
space. Cleanliness and ventilation are the leading points ; 
but to be conducted in a far other manner and on very differ- 
ent views from those in which they have usually been done, 
because directed to very different purposes. 

It must be evident, in the first place, that the laborious 
system of scouring and whitewashing is useless, otherwise than 
it is advantageous for the sake of general cleanliness. It is 
equally plain, that fumigations, though with the mineral acids, 
must be without effect against a poison which is in a state of 
hourly production and renewal. Nor can fires have more than 
a temporary effect, since that must cease with the period of 
their action. The radical cure consists in cleanliness as to 
the hold of the vessel, for there the evil lies. This is the marsh, 
if I may apply such a term ; the steady source of the malaria : 
and the remedy is as simple as it is easy ; since it consists in 
nothing more than washing the ship by means of the plug, 
daily, or as often as that is necessary. And experience has 
amply proved the value of this practice. It was the rule of 
Admiral Baynton and of Captain Smyth, to continue this 
operation till the pump brought up water as clear as that of 
the sea outside, daily ; and the success of these commanders, 
under this and the other precautions, I have already stated. 
In the reverse way, experience has proved the same thing ; 
since, in some of the most notorious and destructive instances 
of fevers in ships of war, many of which I could name but 
must not, it was found that from neglect of this process, the 
hold and ballast were a mass of mud ; and, what is more remark* 

Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-hoard. 73 

able, that the character of the very same ship, as to sickness or 
health, had always changed with the change of commanders, 
just as the sailing qualities of a vessel has been known to do 
under similar changes.. 

What else may be said as to prevention in this case, relates 
to ventilation. Separations in a ship are often unavoidable ; to 
a certain extent, always indispensible. But ventilation can still 
be effected through wind-sails, or other well-known means ; 
and if the general principles here laid down should ever be 
admitted and understood in the Navy, or in ships generally, 
an attentive and able officer will find no difficulty, under any 
possible circumstance, whether as it relates to this cause or the 
former, in adopting such regulations of detail as the general 
principles indicate ; and such as will doubtless prove efficacious 
in diminishing or preventing this long-standing and most active 
cause of mortality in the Navy, or in ships of whatever nature. 
Admiral Baynton well remarks, that his own crews were always 
far healthier than an equal number of people in any country 
town in England ; and, in truth, it ought to be so ; since, Avith 
the exception of these fevers, for ever incurred through the 
grossest neglect, it is not easy to conceive a situation more 
salubrious than that of a ship at sea, more free, at least, when 
we consider the usages and conditions of the inhabitants, and 
their modes of life, from mortal diseases. 

I think that I need not proceed ; because, if what I have 
said is not capable of producing conviction, I cannot conceive 
that anything will. In this case, I must trust to Time, the great 
friend to all improvement, who for ever effects what evidence 
and reason cannot. But it will be convenient to place, in a 
brief and simple summary, the chief regulations which have 
been here proposed, that they may be more conveniently com- 
mitted to memory, should any one think that the entire re- 
commendation deserves attention. 

With respect to the possible effects of land or its malaria on 
ships, it would be prudent to avoid approaching this within a 
a certain distance, in tropical climates, and on low shores espe- 
cially, unless in cases of necessity 5 and this distance to be 
limited to not less than three or four miles. 
Whenever anchoring can be dispensed with in such cases, it 

74 pi"' Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board, 

ought to be avoided ; and ships should be directed to be off 
and on, particularly at night, whenever the service admits of 
this, as the chief danger is between sunset and sunrise. 

If, in certain harbours and ports, such as St. Lucia, for 
example, or Port Royal, stores can be sent on board by 
launches or otherwise, this should be done, to prevent the 
hazard from anchoring in a port. 

Boats should never be sent ashore from sunset till after sun- 
rise, and men should never have leave at night. 

No man should leave the ship in the morning till after 
breakfast, or after a dram ; and smoking, or tobacco in any 
shape, according to the practice of Holland, should be made the 
universal practice. 

In any case of a vessel hovering or anchored on a tropical 
or other suspected coast within four or five miles, should the 
sea breeze, or any wind, change, or come to blow off shore, 
they ought to stand off or weigh immediately ; and in these 
cases, also, all hands unnecessary on deck should be ordered 
below. The night-watches, in all these cases, ought to bo 
reduced to the least possible number of men ; and the men 
of these watches ought not merely to be permitted, but ordered, 
to smoke while on deck. 

Boats employed in cutting wood in tropical rivers, should 
always arrive, if possible, and quit, during full water, as the fevers 
are produced during the exposure of the mud. If fires can be 
lighted during this service, that ought to be a standing order. 

No boat to be in such a place at night. 

It is believed that gauze veils prevent the malaria from 
attacking those exposed to it ; — the least that can be said is, 
that it deserves a trial. 

These are the general precautions ; and it is believed that if 
adhered to, with such others as may be derived from the same 
general principles, a great portion of the mortality in ships in 
hot climates would be avoided. I will only add, that for 
African service it is recommended that negroes or natives 
should be adopted to perform those duties, in wooding and 
watering, that have proved so destructive to British seamen. 

The other set of precautions relate to the production of 
malaria from bilge-water, or a foul ship, and they are, per- 

Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship'board^ 75 

haps, more within the reach of positive regulations than the 

The first general rule is this; that the ship should be washed 
every day, or as often as is practicable, by means of the plug, 
nor is the washing to be deemed effectual, till the water from 
the pump is as clear as that outside. 

As, in any case of the production of malaria from the ship 
itself, its very construction renders it peculiarly effective, 
through confinement, every practicable mode of ventilation 
should be resorted to ; while, as contagion is not the cause 
of these fevers, all the common plans of whitewashing, and so 
forth, usually adopted, may be dispensed with, as producing 
trouble and doing no good : and, in this view, all fumigations, 
from whatever materials, are useless ; because the effect of 
them is temporary, and necessarily nothing, when the poison- 
ous cause is in a state of perpetual production. This has been 
a leading source of deception and evil, and particularly so, as 
appearing to be founded on solid principles, while these were, 
in reality, false ones. 

On the view of confinement, it is also proper that no divi- 
sions or bulk-heads should be suffered in a ship, if they can be 
dispensed with, as they concentrate and render the poison 
more active. 

To conclude, if these regulations could be rendered effec- 
tual, it is believed that the greatest cause of mortality in ships 
would be removed ; and if, in addition to this, every ship, leav- 
ing any port, were adequately fumigated by sulphurous acid, 
and the persons and clothes of newly-entered men, or men on 
shore on leave, were attended to, by the well-known means, 
together with such other equally familiar precautions as are re-s 
commended against contagion, it is believed that fever would 
shortly become unknown in the British Navy ; and further j 
that as this is the only real cause of mortality, remembering 
always that dysentery and cholera also arise from malaria, and 
from the same causes, a ship would, in any case, be the 
healthiest of residences, and thus the mortality of the sea 
would become an absolute trifle to what it has hitherto been. 

I may now conclude. — ^The past history of the Navy is a 
history of fearful or most injurious mortalities from fevers. 
The inconveniences to the Service, ill appreciated by landa* 

76 Dr. Mac Culloch on Malaria on Ship-board. 

men, are but too well known to the Navy, and to the State 
also. The expenditure of life, and therefore of money, is not 
less known, at least, in the accounts, if placed, as usual, to the 
general average of unavoidable casualties. What regards 
humanity is not worth reckoning, it is to be presumed. If all 
this can be prevented, he who shall prevent it will have effected 
no small good, in many ways. The detail of past evils and 
future possible benefits would form a very curious and instruc- 
tive picture ; it would carry even an air of romance. In 
the merchant service, the evils are radically the same, but the 
effects are in some respects different. Humanity here, also, 
reckons for nothing, as long as the dead man can be replaced 
by a living one. Yet there is loss : wages are paid for services 
not performed; vessels are disabled from inefficiency of hands ; 
and vessels are lost. The owners escape, it is true, for they 
are insured. Who is there to care ? — the insurers. The in- 
surers are so divided and diluted, that there is no one to care. 
The merchant service is little likely to do anything towards 
improving the health of ships. It must finally rest with the 
Admiralty, with the State. That when the State believes 
what is here detailed to be true, it will regulate accordingly, 
we cannot doubt ; but we may safely doubt if this reasoning 
is adequate to command their belief. * 

Lineaments of Leanness. By William Wadd, Esq., F.L.S. 

It may naturally be supposed, from the cases and comments 
on corpulence, that the ^^ fat and /azr" have not been the 
only persons who have consulted me ; the man who knows 
how to reduce " the fat'' ought to know how to " fatten the 
lean ;" and, accordingly, I have occasionally been visited by 
** quelques Anatomies Vivantes,^^ and although Mons. ^, 

* This extraordinary production of nature, pronounced by the most 
eminent of the faculty in France and England, to be a " great phenome- 
non,'" was brought, as we are told, to this country, at a considerable 
expense, to contribute to the advancement of science ! The expense of 
keeping a skeleton we cannot calculate from any practical experience in 
this country ; but we may presume it was not much ; *' a recreative excur- 
sion,'" for a party of such persons, would, it may be presumed, not cost 
so large a sum as the convivial committee of City lands. Quere ? which 
Was advanced most by the skeleton's visit, the Englishman's philosophy, 
or the Frenchman's fortune ? 

Lineaments of Leanness. 77 

the real living skeleton, never did me the honour of a visit, I 
have seen full as great curiosities as the said Monsieur, within 
the circle of my own acquaintance ; and, in the persons of two 
of my most intimate friends, witnessed the most extraordinary 
instances of emaciation that the human frame could possibly 
exhibit. One of these was a gentleman about forty years of 
age ; the other was one of the most lovely and beautiful of her 
sex, who, when she died, at the early age of thirty, presented 
the resemblance of an ivory skeleton, covered with thin parch- 

These cases were similar in appearance and progress ; and 
each of them the effect of great organic disease, in the mesen- 
teric glands and abdominal viscera. The first of these cases, 

was Major P , who, after much military service, and much 

harder duty as regarded his health, in the service of convi- 
viality and good living, became a barrack-master in Sussex. I 
had not seen him for a year or two, when one morning, he 
called me up, having suddenly left his quarters, " to seek my 
friendly advice, on matters of the utmost importance !" For 
some moments I could not recognize my friend, — I knew him 
not ; how should I ? an insane skeleton addressed me ! It 
spoke of circumstances I knew, but in a voice I did not know. 
Never, in my professional hfe, was I more distressingly affected, 
I met the momentary difficulty of contending feelings as well 
as I could, and, as soon as circumstances permitted, deposited 
a living skeleton in the charge of his family. He lived a few 
weeks after, eating voraciously ; and swallowed, or rather bolted, 
some large lumps of meat within a few hours of his death. 

There are, however, cases of the absorption of fat, the causes 
of which it is impossible to ascertain. 

A curious case is related by Halle in the ' Memoires de I'ln- 
stitut National,' of a young woman who gradually became 
emaciated, without any diminution of appetite, and without any 
specific complaint. At the age of twenty-one, the emaciation 
commenced ; and from that time went on progressively : she 
had no fever, no cough, no sweatings, no oedematous swellings 
whatever ; and the excretions were quite natural. She died 
at the age of twenty-five, having been confined to her bed only 
fifteen hours, and in these were included the usual hours of 

78 Lineaments of Leanness. 

rest. The only peculiarities discovered, on dissection, were the 
almost total want of fat, and the obliteration, in a great mea- 
sure, of the lymphatic system. The lactealswere invisible ; all 
the glands were remarkably small ; the inguinal glands, in par* 
ticular, were quite shrunk, and the vessels leading to them were 
almost impervious. 

Halle therefore concludes, that this case affords an example 
of atrophy, independent of any organic affection, except what 
resulted from the successive obliteration of the lymphatic 

Two remarkable instances are mentioned by Lorry — one of 
which will sufficiently illustrate this remark. 

A person advanced in years, and aflPected with melancholy, 
became, without any evident cause, in such a dry state, as to 
be unable to move without producing a horrid crackling noise 
in all his bones, even the spine, to such a degree, that (being a 
priest) he was obliged to give up saying mass, as the noise was 
so great as to astonish the vulgar, and make children laugh. 

Sudden emaciation and absorption of fat, however the effect 
of diseased organic structure, or acute disease, does not pro- 
perly belong to, or characterise that opposite state, or anti-^ 
thesis to corpulence, known by the term leanness, which is 
always attended by extreme tension and dryness of the cellular 
membrane, very frequently by weakness in the digestive powers, 
but not constantly, as we sometimes find thin and lean persons, 
eat more in quantity than others. 

It is not eating alone, however, but digestion that gives 
strength and nourishment : yet digestion may be perfect, and 
assimilation of chyle into blood imperfect ; for, that the quan- 
tity of nourishment does not depend on the quantity of food, 
is evinced, by the most voracious eaters being found among 
the leanest of their kind. 

The act of eating gives rise to three subsequent processes, — * 
digestion — chymefaction — and chylefaction. The production 
of fat seems to depend most on this latter process, and whether 
as Father Paul says, ** the little we take prospers with us," or 
whether we fall off though fed on turtle, seems to depend on 
the facility of chylefaction ; a process carried on out of the 
Stomach, in the small intestines, a lower portion of the aliraen* 

Lineamenis of Leanness, 79 

tary canal, to which the attention of modern physicians and 
physiologists has been particularly directed ; and to which we 
may attribute the duodenal diseases, and discrepancies, now so 

There are many of the phenomena of digestion perfectly in- 
telligible ; there are others that are not sO ; and from the pecu- 
liar effects of certain alimentary substances, we are led to con* 
elude, that there is a shorter road for some of the excretions, 
than by the lacteals and general circulation. And although 
we can very readily explain and account for various circum- 
stances connected with digestion and chylefaction, there are 
many questions arising out of them, that an ingenious casuist 
may suggest, to which we can give no other answer than the 
doctors did to Voltaire, when he proposed on this subject the 
following question : — 

" Par quel secret mystere, 
Ce pain, cet aliment dans mon corps digere, 
Se transforme dans un lait douceraent pr^par^ ? 
Comment, toujours filtre dans ces routes certaines 
En longs ruisseaux de pourpre il court enfler raes veines ?" 

** Demandez-ce k ce Dieu qui nous donne la vie—" 

Was the oracular answer. 

** But what is the cause of my leanness ?" said a thin gen** 
tleman, who would have given half his fortune for half of my 
fat; ^* what is the cause of my leanness?" — "Demandez- 
ce d ce Dieu!" — ** Pho ! demand a fiddle-stick's end! — I 
want you to tell me, sir — you, sir ; — what is the cause of my 
leanness?" — ^* Well, — soyez tranquille — be quiet a minute: 
there is a predisposition in your constitution to make you lean, 
and a disposition in your constitution to keep you so." This 
explanation, about as satisfactory as Dr. Thomas Diaphoreus* 
explanation of the properties of opium — ** quia est in ea," &c. 
&c., did not soothe the irritability of my lean inquirer, who 
became^ if possible, more shrunken and wizened as his heat 
increased. Seeing the nature and temper of my antagonist, I 
went to book with him in another way :-^** Why, sir, as to the 
causes of leanness, there may be many that an ingenious 
theorist might suggest ; — I speak to you, sir, as to a sensible 
man.^' — ^The storm and heat began to subside j an oily word is 

80 Lineaments of Leanness, 

like an emollient ; — ** I speak to you, sir, as a sensible man, 
and I am aware that it is not sufficient to talk to you in general 
terms, of constitutional peculiarities, digestive organs, and ali- 
mentary functions ; you must have a positive specific cause ; 
and, if possible, an explanation of that cause, as plain as the 
specification of a patent."" — " Just so ; that is what I want — 
you speak like a sensible man^^ — (the retort courteous) — » 
^* Every effect, sir, must have a cause ; and I want to know 
whether the cause may be in the stomach, or any particular 
part of my inside, and if so, whether by particularly directing 
our attention to that part, wherever it may be, we can in any 
way alter its nature ?" 

The expectations of patients are sometimes very exorbitant, 
generally in proportion to their ignorance ; sensible people 
give very little trouble. Hence it is not difficult to satisfy these 
exorbitant demands ; for a foolish answer will always balance a 
foolish question. I do not recollect ever to have met the 
equal of this inquirer, except in a very pompous person, who 
kept a large circulating library, who doubtless thought ** keep- 
ing a library, he himself was learned," and who, Avhenever my 
answer satisfied his great mind, always expressed his appro- 
bation by a condescending nod, with — ** Aye ! now, sir, you 
give us a physical reason ! '* 

But *' revenons d nos moutons ;" finding my patient's mind 
was bent on localities^ I suggested the intestinum coecum for 
his consideration — the newly-discovered organ of fat ! He had 
never heard of it; this was what he expected of me ; (another 
retort courteous, for which I owed him one.) " This was 
news! What was it? how was it ?"— ** Why, sir, some are of 
opinion that the caecum contains a certain ferment, — some 
that it is destined to secrete an important fluid, — others take it 
for a second ventricle, wherein the prepared aliments may be 
stored up, and so long retained, till a thicker and more nutri- 
tive juice may be drawn from them ; — and how it is a depot of 
fat you will find in the ^ Philosophical Transactions.' " 

He heard this very attentively, and having passed mutual 
compliments, and being on very good terms with each other, 
he favoured me with his unreserved opinion. " I see very 
clearly, sir, the application of this discovery to my case : this is 

Lineaments of Leanness, tt 

an age of discoveries ! — the quantity of fat diffused over the 
body must be in proportion to the quantity in the depot : I 
must have a small coecum ! Now the question is — can we 
enlarge it ? — Perhaps I have no coecum !" We quite agreed 
upon the impossibility of supplying this defect ; but as " there 
is more in heaven and earth than we dream of in our philo- 
sophy," my philosopher did not like to relinquish all specu- 
lation upon the subject. I considered the case beyond surgery. 
I am not sure that I might have been allowed to look at the 
caput coli, — though I have known an operation done on almost 
as frivolous grounds. But when I told him that, according to 
the account of the celebrated Hoffman, dogs became rapidly fat 
when their spleen was removed, and that Mr. Hunter once 
removed it from a wounded man, who did very well, there 
seemed to arise a lurking longing, as much as to say, '' I wish 
Mr. Hunter had my spleen." 

There is an asperity in the acute angles of some persons, 
that gives a most forbidding appearance, — every feature is 
sharp, and every variety of movement quick. Shakspeare 
makes Caesar desire that he may have fat people about his 
person. It would be hard, on this authority, to condemn all 
persons who have the misfortune to be born with small 
coecums and large spleens, and are meagre from causes they 
cannot control, "as fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." 
Yet it is clear that Caesar liked a curvilinear embonpoint 
appearance in his body-guard, and thought there was most 
safety with a corpulent corps of household troops. 

The lean are not less exposed to ridicule than the corpulent. 
A reverend doctor of divinity, of very ghostly appearance, was 
one day accosted by a vulgar fellow, who, after eyeing him 
from head to foot, at last said, " Well, doctor, I hope you 
have taken care of your soul /" " Why, my friend," said the 
amiable shadow, " why should you be so anxious that I should 
take care of my soul?" " Because," rephed the other, " I 
can tell you that your body is not worth caring for." 

Jonas Hanway, who was remarkably thin, was met by a 
man much inebriated, who approached him in so irregular a 
direction, that it might have been concluded that he had busi- 
ness on both sides the way. Hanway stopped when he came 

JULY— SEPT. 1828. G 

tB Lineaments of Leanness, 

up to him, to give him his choice ; but the man stood as still 
as his intoxication would permit him, without attempting to 
pass on either side. After viewing each other a moment, 
•* My friend," said Hanway, '^ you seem as if you had rather 
drunk too much;^^ — to which the man replied, with consider- 
able naivete^ ** And you, my friend, seem as if you had ate 
too littler 

I have stated, that good humour and the power of looking 
on the favourable side of things are among the concomitant 
causes of corpulency ; and so they have been considered from 
the days of Solomon. — *^ A merry heart doeth good like a 
medicine ; but a broken spirit drieth the bones."— Prot;er 6s. 
Now the optics of some lean people are in so unlucky a perspec- 
tive, as to throw a shade over every picture that is presented 
to them : to them the whole face of Nature is gloomy and 
ugly. It would be a blessed thing for such persons, if Dol- 
lond could alter their vision by the aid of spectacles. To fatten 
a man by impressions on the optic nerve would be a new feat 
in the philosophy of physic and surgery. 

** Laugh and grow fat" is an old adage; and Sterne tells 
us, that every time a man laughs, he adds something to his 
life. An eccentric philosopher, of the last century, used to 
say, that he liked not only to laugh himself, but to see laugh- 
ter, and to hear laughter. " Laughter, sir, laughter is good 
for the health ; it is a provocative to the appetite, and a friend 
to digestion. Dr. Sydenham, sir, said the arrival of a merry- 
andrew in a town was more beneficial to the health of the inha- 
bitants than twenty asses loaded with medicine." Mr. Pott 
used to say that he never saw the " Tailor riding to Brent- 
ford," without feeling better for a week afterwards. 

From what has been said, it will appear that, next to my phi- 
losophical patient's notions of enlarging the coecum, and less- 
ening the spleen, the excitement of laughter ought to have a 
a place in the '* Ars Pinguefaciendi." Mr, George Jones, 
mentioned by Granger, seems to have had this object in view 
in his ** Friendly Pills," which were to make patients of all com- 
plexions laugh at the time of taking them^ and to cure all curable 
complaints. Let us hope, for the sake of his Majesty's " lean 
lieges," that George Jones's recipe may start from some anti- 

Lineaments of Leanness, 6B 

quarian pill-box, for the engraissing and beautifying that por- 
tion of the population. Let us also flatter ourselves, that 
although we do not now know our way to Mr. Payne's toy-shop 
for his three-and-sixpenny bottle of" Pinguefying Specificj*' a 
specific will be found amongst the arcana of modern chfe-» 

Amongst the most singular propositions for fattening the 
person, that our inquiries have furnished us with, that of flagel- 
lation is the most whimsical. In the " Artificial Changeling/' 
We read that the Mangones, to make their bodies more fat for 
sale, ** were wont to whip their posteriors and loins with rods, 
and so by degrees make them more fleshy ;" and it is even 
said that this is noticed by Galen, as no contemptible strata- 
gem to attract the nourishing particles to the outer parts. 

The operation of flagellation has been, in former times, re- 
sorted to by ecclesiastical doctors, as well as medical; and 
some very curious secrets were laid open in the Abbe Boi* 
leau's ^* History of the Flagellants." But the work most to 
our purpose is that of Meibomius, " De rUtilit6 de la Fla- 

*' Jerome Mercurialis," says Meibomius, "nousapprend que 
plusieurs m^decins ont ordonne la flagellation d des personnes 
maigres pour les engraisser, et leur donner de V embonpoint. 

•' Galien citant d ce sujet les stratagemes des marchands 
d'esclaves qui se servoient de ce moyen pour les faire paroitre 
plus brillans de fraicheur et d'embonpoint, ne laisse aucun 
doute sur I'efficacit^ de ce remade. II est certain qu'il fait 
gonfler la chair et attire d elle les alimens. Personne n' ignore 
que la flagellation avec des ortus vertes a le plus grand succes 
pour raffermir les membres et rappeler la chaleur et le sang 

* When the Spectator was first published in the form of a newspaper, 
advertisements were attached to it, of which the following is a spe- 
cimen : — 

•* An assured cure for leanness, which proceeds from a cause which 
few know, but easily removed by an unparalleled specific tincture, which 
fortifies the stomach, purifies the blood, takes off fretfulness in the mind, 
occasions rest, and easy sleep, and as certainly disposes and causes the 
body to thrive and become plump and fleshy, if no manifest distemper 
afilicts the patients, as water will (juench fire, &c. &c. 

** It is pleasant to taste, and is sold only at Mr. Payne's toy-shop; 
price 3$, Qd, a bottle with directions," 


84 Lineaments of Leanness. 

dans les parties qui en sont privees." — MeibomiuSy de VUtilitd 
de la Flagellation^ p. 33. 

He adds, — '' Combien de nourrices, sans avoir consulte 
Jerome Mercurialis, ni Galien, ont recours k ce stratag^me 
qu'elles connoissent par tradition, et claquant les enfans sur les 
fesses, avant de les rendre k leurs m^res, trompent par cet 
embonpoint factice et momentan^, la confiance des tendres 
parens qui leur ont confie ces interessantes creatures!" — Mei- 
bomiuSy de V Utilite de la Flagellation, 

One gentleman told me, that he understood mercury was 
very fattening. Mercury of itself cannot be said to fatten ; 
for if it fails to cure the disease for which it is adminstered, the 
patient becomes thinner. 

Those who refer all the difficulties to the stomach, and look 
for comfortable remedies in the '* Cookery-books," would do 
well to visit Paris, where a restaurateur invites patients of this sort, 
by the following consolatory exhortation written over his door: — 

Venite ad me omnes qui stomacho laboratis, et ego restaurabo vos ! 

This class of enquirers, who are generally great believers in 
the efficacy of milk, and cock-broth baths, gelatine, and po- 
tato-pie, and are ever on the alert to discover the most nutri- 
tious articles of food, should be informed of the notable ex- 
ample of the effect of chocolate, given by the industrious Dr. 
Mundy, who says that he knew a man in a desperate con- 
sumption, who took a great fancy for chocolate ; and his wife, 
out of complaisance, drank it often with him : the consequence 
was, the husband recovered, and the wife had three sons at one 
birth \—Harl. MSS. 

Notwithstanding the encouragement held forth by various 
remedial processes and specifics, the task still remains a diffi- 
cult one — and we must even now agree with what the learned 
Bulmer said a century ago, *' All bodies may be made leane, 
but it is impossible to fatten where vehement heat or driness is 
by nature ; for one may easily subtract from Nature, but to 
add to Nature is difficult, Avhen Virtue does not co-operate : 
all other creatures, if they have sufficient and proper food, will 
grow fat and befranked ; whereas men, although they have the 
best aliment exhibited to them, will not in like manner be fat, 
the chiefe cause whereof, as to man, is imputed to his tempe-* 
lomQnV^ '^Artificial Changeling, p. 478. 


On the Curative Influence of the Southern Coast of England, 
especially that of Hastings. By William Harvvood, M.D. 
8vo. pp. 326. London, 1828. Colburn. 

The subjects which the present volume embraces are very im- 
portant, and calculated, we conceive, to excite great interest 
m the mind of the general reader, to whom the work appears 
to have been addressed. 

Climate and medicine are each so powerful in their effects 
on disease, that we are often led to doubt which is the most 
active in its operation ; and situations, whose position or other 
local circumstances give to them an atmosphere of any pecu- 
liar character, are salubrious, or the contrary, though the 
causes are often concealed from our view, no great difference 
being found to exist in the chemical constituents of the atmo- 
sphere, wherever it has been examined. The present state of 
our knowledge, therefore, confines our investigations of its 
varied effects on the constitution, almost exclusively to the 
quantum of heat and moisture which it contains ; but even in 
these investigations we are far from finding ourselves free from 
considerable difficulties, since, in opposition to general princi- 
ples, we have to encounter the powerful influence of habit and 
peculiarities of constitution ; an atmosphere which, a priori, 
might have been supposed equally adapted to two individuals, 
being often found to suit the one, and not the other. It is, 
nevertheless, well known, that in many of the most formidable 
of our diseases, in whatever constitutions they may occur, a 
higher and more equally natural temperature than that which 
is usually enjoyed during the colder months of the year, is an 
important desideratum ; and it becomes, therefore, a question 
of great interest whether, all circumstances considered, it is, in 
the majority of instances, more safe to endeavour to obtain 
this equability and elevation of temperature in our own king- 
dom, among our own comforts and friends, or to lose the ad- 
vantages of the latter, by retiring to distant parts of Europe in 
its pursuit. In the former case it becomes an object of no less 
interest to the invalid to be made acquainted with the situa- 
tions which are the most likely to afford it, and what are the 
natural causes on which it may be supposed to depend ; and 
on this, as on other accounts, we consider the volume before 
us highly calculated to prove useful. 

The first part of the work relates to the temperature of coast 
situations, and it enumerates those circumstances which may 
be considered as affording to sheltered parts on our own 

86 Curative Influence of the 

southern coast a higher and more steady temperature during 
the winter season, than any other portion of our island. These 
effects being chiefly derived from aspect, security from the 
effects of piercing winds, and from the influence which the 
temperature of the ocean exerts on the superincumbent atmo- 
sphere ; that of the surface water of the sea being greater dur- 
ing this period of the year, than the temperature of the sur- 
rounding air. Dr. Harwood remarks — that 

*' To account for this difference, it appears that the impressions 
of heat, which are imparted by the sun's rays to the surfaces of the 
waters, and of the earth, are disposed of very differently ; that heat 
which is received ©n the surface of the land, being slowly admitted, 
and feebly communicated to the dense earth below, loses much of 
its intensity by freely imparting it to the circulating air ; while on 
the contrary, such rays of light and heat as fall on the surface of the 
ocean, without this sudden check to their progress, penetrate the 
bosom of the deep to a greater or a less depth, in proportion to its 
transparency. Thus their limits are confined to a few fathoms from 
the surface, and their influence becomes gradually diffused through 
this upper stratum of water. From hence, probably, and from that 
law which ordains that the cooler portions of fluid should remain at 
a depth proportioned to their coolness, or that of their superior spe- 
cific gravity, the important result follows — that^during the winter half 
of the year, the temperature of the surface of the sea is greater than 
the mean temperature of the air, tending to produce, by the well 
known property which heat possesses, of equally diffusing itself 
through contiguous bodies, that equality in the latter, which can 
only be expected to be experienced, in this variable climate, in shel- 
tered situations on the coast ; situations which, like detached islands, 
consequently experience comparatively httle of that powerful change 
from summer to winter, which is felt on wide extended continents. 
Thus I may remark, that on the 8th of January last, when the ther- 
mometer stood at 35° on the Hastings' beach, I found it rise to 40^ 
on being introduced into the surface-water of the sea ; and on the 
12th of February, the coldest day of the present year, when it stood, 
in the same situation, at 28°. 5, on immersion, it rose to 39°. 

"There is, however, another very efficient cause for the more ele- 
vated temperature of the ocean; I allude to the action of its cur- 
rents, and the succession of its tides, by constantly mixing and 
combining that surface-water, which has, in various latitudes, been 
differently affected by the solar beams. 

"Kirwan has given to the sea, between the latitudes 50^ and 51*^, 
which may be considered that of the south coast of England, a 
monthly mean temperature as follows : 

January. . . 42°. 5 April .... 52°. 4 

February . . 44 .0 May .... 58 .0 

March ... 50 ,0 June .... 61 .0 

Southern Coast of England, €7 

July 63^.0 October . . . 50°. 

August . . . 62 .0 November . . 46 .0 

September ,.57.0 December . . 44 . 

I am, however, induced to think, that this calculation for the winter 
months is rather too high ; yet if we deduct 3 or 4 degrees for each 
month, still, the powerful influence which so vast a surface must 
exert in equalizing the temperature of a superincumbent atmosphere, 
will be necessarily admitted ; and this higher temperature of the 
pea, I may again remark, becomes, therefore, one demonstrable 
cause of the mildness of a coast climate, and one which could not 
be expected to operate equally far in the interior of the country. 

" Tlie effects of this cause in moderating the temperature of situa- 
tions differently exposed to it, are, therefore, well exemplified by 
comparison ; thus the temperature of Dublin compared with that of 
Warsaw — the one immediately influenced by that of the sea, the 
other probably very little affected by it, though both are nearly iii 
the same parallel of latitude, is as given in the subjoined note*". 

The effects of terrestrial heat, prevaihng winds, and cur- 
rents, on the temperature of our southern atmosphere, are 
next noticed ; and, in the succeeding chapter, Dr. Harwood 
proceeds to point out those peculiarities which justly place 
the Hastings' coast amongst the several situations on the 
southern shore, where the benefits of a mild climate, and other 
advantages afibrded by a proximity to the sea, are most ob- 
servable. To this end we are furnished with a notice of its 
topographical and leading geological characters, and of its 


Mean Temp. 

Do. of 




of coldest 



ranere of 




the Mean. 


37°. 6 

60°. 3 

48°. 4 

22°. 7 

>2 . 14 

27 . 1 

70 .3 

48 .6 

43 .2 


Petersburgh again, in lat. 59°. 56, from its situation, is necessarily but 
little influenced by the ocean, and we consequently find the range of the 
thermometer as follows : 

Mean of Warmest Mean annual Extreme range 

coldest Month do. Temp, of the Mean. 

8°. 6 65°. 7 38°. 8 57°. 1 

ButPekin, which is situated in latitude 39°. 54, or 20 degrees south of 
Petersburgh, probably from the important influence of the extensive 
Asiatic regions lying to the north and west, and the comparatively trifling 
equalizing power it derives from the Pacific, suffers a range of tempera- 
ture still more remarkable, as follows : 

Extreme range 

of the Mean. 

59°. 4 

North Cape, on the other hand, although having a latitude of 71° . 0, or 
31° . 6 further to the north, from the influence of the ocean, by which 
it is almost surrounded, experiences a mean temperature, in its coldest 
month, of only 2°. 7 less than Pekin, it being 22^ . 1. 




coldest Month. 

warmest Month. 

annual Temp. 

24°. 8 

84°. 2 

54°. 9 

6ft Curative Influence of the 

other more important features. Of the position of the town of 
Hastings, we have the following passage — 

*' Of all the benefits, however, which the Hastings' coast offers to 
the invalid, there is none more obvious than the choice of situation 
it affords, adapting it either for summer or winter residence ; many 
of its habitations being placed at an elevation of two or three hun- 
dred feet above the level of the sea ; consequently, as the tempera- 
ture of all places is so materially diminished in proportion to their 
elevation, that in this country, one of 270 feet is allowed to be equal 
in the difference of its temperature to an entire degree of latitude : 
and as these more elevated parts of the town of Hastings are more- 
over visited, during the summer months, by the then prevailing 
breezes, descending from the surrounding altitudes, these higher 
parts of the town necessarily receive from them a very diminished 
temperature, at those periods when coolness is most grateful. 
While on the other hand, the numerous habitations which are 
placed on the immediate beach, below the cHffs, being most effec- 
tually sheltered, at all seasons, from the more piercing winds, are 
no less suitably adapted for a winter residence. From hence it 
follows, that a proper degree of caution should be exercised on the 
part of invalids, lest by an injudicious choice, between situations so 
remote from each other in character, a summer or winter residence 
here, may lose some of its more important advantages. 

'* The most pernicious of all our winds, are the easterly and 
the north easterly ; the latter of which, in this valuable climate, is 
the only one which can be considered periodical, as it visits us with 
great regularity, during a greater or less portion of the months of 
April and May, which, from this cause, are usually trying months 
to delicate constitutions. 

" As, unfortunately, in no country in Europe are the pernicious 
effects of these winds more frequently experienced than in our own, 
it becomes of the utmost importance to observe, that such is the pe- 
culiar position of Hastings, that a considerable portion of it is most 
securely sheltered, by its natural bulwarks, from the searching and 
penetrating agency of these hostile winds. The more genial winds, 
on the contrary, which can alone visit these sheltered situations, 
are those which blow from the south, west, and south-west. Dur- 
ing the winter season they often prevail many days or even weeks 
together, sometimes very powerfully, and usually waft to our shores 
a very sensible increase of temperature. 

** It will also, I think, be generally admitted, that few coasts are 
recommended by so much natural beauty as that of Hastings, as in 
this respect it possesses an acknowledged superiority over any other 
within a much greater distance from the metropolis, and is indeed 
almost the only situation in its vicinity, frequented by invalids, that 
combines great beauty of inland scenery, with that peculiar to an 
ejitensive and highly varied line of coast; which circumstance, in 
connexion with its extensive distribution of those sgurces of interest. 

Southern Coast of England, 89 

calculated to excite pleasing and cheerful impressions, is of so much 
importance to the acquirement of health. In this point of view, 
however, the Hastings' coast is generally appreciated ; its surround- 
ing neighbourhood, consisting chiefly of fine pasture, interspersed 
with much woodland scenery, and affording on its numerous acces- 
sible elevations, the most extensive and interesting landscapes. 
These are at the same time intersected by fertile dells and romantic 
rocky vallies, whose shelter and peculiarity of situation afford, by 
the many rare species of plants they contain, a rich harvest to those 
who are interested in the vegetable productions of our island.'* 

Dr. H. has here subjoined a register of the temperature of 
Hastings, during the four last winter months, November, De- 
cember, January, and February ; and from this register it will 
be seen, to use the author's own words, 

** That the coldest month we have experienced was February, 
which notwithstanding, I find, gives us a mean temperature of 
about 44° ; a striking example of the mildness of the late winter. 
A register of the same month in the year 1826, taken at Hastings, 
gives as the mean 43°. 5; but even this is perhaps rather higher 
than the coldest month generally. Baron Humboldt makes the mean 
of the coldest month in Edinburgh 38°. 3; Paris 35°. 1; and 
Rome 42°. 1. If, therefore, either of the former could be con- 
sidered as a fair average, our winter mean temperature on the 
southern coast would prove higher than even that of Rome." 

The work now assumes a more general character. Dr. H, 
proceeds to point out the more particular effects of various 
qualities of climate on the constitution of invalids, and he ar- 
rives at the conclusion that a climate which " is least liable to 
variation, and which unites a moderate degree of warmth, with 
a certain proportion of moisture, the usual properties of a sea 
atmosphere, is, in the generality of our afflictions, as conducive 
to improvement and health, as any to which we are exposed." 
This doctrine is satisfactorily supported in the elucidation 
which is given of the more obvious effects of other qualities in 
the air. The advantages which a sea atmosphere thus pos- 
sesses, is attributed to the little irritation it occasions to the 
lungs, and to its healthful influence on the exhalents of the 
external surface of the body, on which it tends constantly to 
keep up a gentle action, while it does not too rapidly deprive 
them of their fluids, or the body of its heat. 

In the chapter on the effects of climate, the author ob- 

" This influence of climate, not only on disease already existing, 
but in its production or removal, as also in establishing its peculiar 
type, has been particularly noticed at all periods ; but by few has it 

90 Curative Influence of the 

been more fully appreciated than by the great Hippocrates, who, 
in his labours on e})idemic disorders, has left us, amongst other 
treasures, his admirable and persevering example in accurately 
tracing its effects ; and indeed, the influence of atmospheric vicissi- 
tudes on the constitution, is one of the most important subjects of 
enquiry connected with the duties of the physician, from the great 
power which they exercise on the functions of animal Hfe. 

" The primary influence of the air which surrounds us, on the 
body, may be considered as resulting from a twofold operation : its 
action on the lungs, and that on the surface of the skin, and it is 
through the medium of each of these operations that its beneficial, 
or injurious properties, are imparted to the constitution. 

" The effects of the atmosphere also exhibit themselves in a strik- 
ing manner in the change of season, not only in the removal, but 
also in the production of diseases; and the same is not less ob- 
servable, as I have already noticed, under the prevalence of certain 
winds ; all which circumstances are highly interesting and impor- 
tant in a curative point of view." 

In noticing the effects of a cold and dry atmosphere, the 
author remarks, 

" The diseases to which this cold and dry state of the atmosphere 
chiefly predisposes, are inflammatory affections ; and it is more 
especially productive of rheumatism, coughs, catarrhal fevers, and 
inflammatory disorders of the lungs and chest ; all which are, there- 
fore, more frequently met with in high elevations than in the valleys. 
Jn such diseases, therefore, this kind of atmosphere becomes per- 
nicious, not only by the cold constricting the substance, and super- 
ficial vessels of the body, but by the irritation produced by its im- 
mediate contact with the vessels of the lungs ; and, by the same 
operation, from its power of quickening the circulation through 
them ; since the respective velocities of any fluid are inversely as the 
capacities of the canals through which it is propelled. 

" There is, however, another cause, which usually renders such a 
state of the atmosphere injurious to persons much debilitated by 
disease ; for as their afflictions incapacitate them from taking a 
sufficient degree of bodily exercise, the constricting force of the ex- 
ternal cold, becomes superior to the enfeebled power of the circula- 
tion ; and that of the exhalents on the surface, and the active func- 
tions of the latter, which are so conducive to health, become checked 
by the torpor thus induced, whence the whole frame necessarily 
sympathizes in the derangement. 

" An atmosphere, however, which is very cold, and moist, is far 
more generally prejudicial to invalids than the former ; for such a 
state of the air, so far from imparting appreciable advantages, is 
constantly succeeded by a great variety of disease. I have already 
observed, that the prejudicial influence of a cold and dry atmosphere 
on a debilitated system, although arising, in some degree, from the 
absolute abstraction of heat by contact, is chiefly communicated 

Southern Coast of England. 91 

through the medium of its exhalent arteries, which, by the torpor 
they undergo, lose much of their energy, and consequently suffer a 
material diminution in the quantity of their secretion. 

** When, however, cold is united with great humidity, a double 
cause operates in the production of this same result; for as the 
atmosphere can only sustain a certain portion of moisture in solu- 
tion, or mechanical union, the slowness of its absorption of hu- 
midity is necessarily in proportion to the quantity it has already 
acquired. A diminished or suppressed action, therefore, of the 
exhalent vessels of the skin, becomes here a still more certain result 
than in the former case, and more especially where bodily exercise 
cannot be enjoyed. 

" Another circumstance which tends to render a cold damp at- 
mosphere more prejudicial than a cold dry one, and more especially, 
than one that is calm, arises from its moreperfectpower of conduct- 
ing away heat, which Count Rumford, by numerous experiments, 
has shown to be the case ; consequently, although the thermometer 
indicates the temperature to be the same, still its effects on the 
constitution are widely different ; and debilitated persons feel more 
chilled by such an atmosphere, at a temperature of 35°, or 36°., 
than when the thermometer is down at 31° or 32°. 

'* Such an atmosphere, then, even on those who are naturally 
healthy, if it long prevail, can scarcely fail to be productive of more 
or less derangement of the bodily functions ; which derangement is 
generally evinced by depression of spirits, indisposition to exertion, 
and most commonly, a sympathetic torpor and inactivity in the di- 
gestive function in its general sense ; with vitiated or impaired se- 
cretions of the liver, and other glands. 

*' I have before observed that such an atmosphere as combines 
moderate warmth, with a slight degree of moisture, is, in the gene- 
rality of diseases, perhaps more conducive to improvement than any 
other ; yet, there is not probably a more baneful combination than 
when great heat and moisture are conjoined, and, more especially, 
when the air is at rest. This is too fully exemplified to us by its 
pernicious effects in tropical countries ; where the air, in low and 
marsliy districts, when confined and rendered stationary by woods, 
and consequently united with the unhealthful influence of perpetual 
vegetable decomposition, is productive of the most serious conse- 
quences to all who are exposed to its influence. 

'* The effects of an atmosphere thus surcharged with heat and 
vapour, on the constitution of man, is to relax the solids, to rarefy 
the fluids, and to increase the secretions on the surface ; which, 
however, from the already saturated state of the air, is not readily 
removed ; to lessen the powers of the circulation, and to diminish 
the energies of the body, giving rise, by their combination, to the 
various awful epidemic diseases, to which, fortunately, we are little 
exposed in this island. 

** Yet, that a certain degree of moisture is necessary to constitute 

92 Curative Influence of the 

a healthy and restorative atmosphere, is evident, from a considera- 
tion of the deleterious effects of one without it ; for air, destitute of 
moisture, cannot be breathed with ease or impunity, whether it be 
warm or cold; when any degree of irritability exists within the 
Iun£^s, such an air generally becomes insupportable, and when 
united with much heat, is to all, productive of great oppression and 
uneasiness, as is experienced by those whose occupations expose 
them to its influence; while, on the contrary, if humidity be added 
to it, such impressions are speedily removed. It is, therefore, a 
common practice among such as are exposed to air greatly heated, 
by means of stoves, to have recourse to steaming the apartments. 

" From such considerations then, may be I think deduced, the 
superior advantages which are afforded in many diseases, by a sea 
atmosphere, little subject to these extremes, advantages arising, not 
more from the absence of the irritation they occasion to the lungs, 
than from its heahhful influence on the exhalents of the external 
surface of the body ; on which it tends to constantly keep up a 
gentle action, while it does not too rapidly deprive them of their 
fluids, or the body of its heat. 

*' The salutary and invigorating qualities, however, of sea air, 
which have been so long experienced and acknowledged, have led 
to the idea, that other causes have an important share in the pro- 
duction of its peculiar effects ; and thus they have been assigned to 
a difference in its chemical composition, from that of the land, while 
other authors, as Dr. T. Reid, have been contented to regard it as 
* the most pure and healthful we possess,' without allusion to the 
causes which impart its salubrity. It is well known, however, that 
saline particles are wafted by it to considerable distances, and M. 
Vogel, of Munich, has shewn inapaper, published in the JowrwaZc^e 
Pharmacie, No. 11, for Nov. 1823, that the sea air of our channel, 
holds in chemical combination, a portion of those muriates over 
which it is wafted, and a less proportion of carbonic acid than that 
of the continent of Europe. 

'* One quality of vast importance to its salubrity, is, doubtless, 
its constant agitation ; by this means it affords to us, at each inspi- 
ration, a regular supply for our demands, pure and uncontaminated 
by noxious effluvia." 

The next thirty or forty pages relate to the effects of warm 
and cold sea bathing on the constitution, and the circum- 
stances which render it inadmissible. 

Dr. Harwood then proceeds to take a comprehensive view 
of those maladies in which he conceives the operation of coast 
advantages to be most important, viz., various diseases of the 
chest, as consumption, winter cough, and asthma, indigestion, 
acute and chronic rheumatism, gout, the effects of loss of 
blood, and of other debilitating causes, and of mercurial me- 
dicines, diseases of the liver, scrophula, and many disorders 
incident to children. 

Southern Coast of England. 93 

This part of the work, which is by far the most voluminous, 
is executed in a manner which reflects highly on the profes- 
sional talent of the authors, and exhibits a very extensive ac- 
quaintance with the opinions of ancient and modern physicians, 
on the broad basis of whose established opinions, rather than 
on novel hypotheses, he has, we think very judiciously, rested 
the reputation of his work, in support of the arguments he 
adduces. Although it is diflicult to make a selection from this 
useful part of the publication, a few extracts may serve to illus- 
trate the perspicuous style in which it is written ; and with these 
our limits will compel us to conclude our notice of a work, 
which, from the importance of the subjects it embraces, and 
the mode of treating them, must be considered a valuable 
acquisition to the public. 

In the Chapter on Consumption, Dr. Harwood observes, in 
reference to low situations, 

" Low situations having been found less obnoxious to consump- 
tive complaints, and, on the contrary, a diminished atmospheric 
pressure, whether depending on meteorological variations, or on a 
removal from a lower part of the kingdom to one of a higher level, 
being thought to be prejudicial in such cases, many medical authors 
have supposed the advantages of the coast to be materially aided 
by the increased weight of its atmosphere. 

" It has, indeed, not only been observed, that the proportion of 
these diseases materially increases as we ascend from a lower to a 
higher elevation, but cases are recorded in which their progress has 
been effectually arrested by a removal thence to a lower level. 

" That such results, however, are dependent entirely on the de- 
gree of pressure to which the lungs are subject, is not clearly de- 
monstrated ; since the pernicious influence communicated, on high 
elevations, to pulmonic diseases, may arise, in a more especial 
manner, from the greater vicissitudes of heat and cold to which 
such situations are exposed ; although I conceive that there is evi- 
dence amply sufficient for believing, that the greater or less degree 
of pressure in the atmosphere, is productive of very important 
effects on organs so immediately exposed to its action, and ren- 
dered by derangement or disease, preternaturally sensible to its 
effects . 

** This would appear more particularly apparent from the obser- 
vations of Mr. Mansford, on the degree of acceleration which the 
pulse acquires even at a comparatively trifling elevation ; for, on 
ascending no more than 500 feet above the level of the sea, it seems 
that the heart gains an accession of several pulsations per minute ; 
while the resistance of the vessels is diminished in an equal pro- 
portion, as is demonstrated by the well known circumstance, tliat 
even the most healthy persons, on ascending great heights, not un- 

94 Curatke Influence 0/ th6 

frequently experience a rupture of small vessels, which are distri- 
buted on the membranes most exposed to these influences ; it is 
therefore easy to conceive, that injurious consequences may result 
from slight elevations, to invalids, the delicate vessels of whose 
lungs have either suffered partial disorganization, or have acquired 
an increased degree of susceptibility to disease. 

** This increased rapidity in the circulation, and in respiration, is, 
nevertheless, by no means proportioned exclusively to the degree of 
elevation to which the individual is exposed, but is not less affected 
by constitutional peculiarities ; hence evidently the cause, why so 
much discrepancy exists between the accounts given by authors, 
of the sensations they have experienced at different altitudes. 

" Thus, although M. Saussure informs us, that on ascending 
Mont Blanc, he suffered from these effects in a very high degree, 
that his strength became exhausted, and that various febrile symp- 
toms evinced themselves ; and although Sir W. Hamilton felt great 
difficulty in his respiration on Mount Etna, and many have been 
attacked by haemoptysis and other haemorrhages, under similar cir- 
cumstances ; Dr. Heberden did not complain of any very material 
inconvenience from visiting the Peak of Teneriffe, and the same 
may be observed of several others, who have reached the heights 
of Mont Blanc and parts of the Andes ; and even Of those who 
have experienced the rapid ascent of balloons. 

" But, notwithstanding these facts, when we consider, that in 
low situations, and with the barometer at thirty inches, we sustain 
an atmospheric pressure of fifleen pounds upon every square-inch, 
or thirty-two thousand pounds weight on the whole surface of the 
body, elevations, great or small, as well as changes in the state of 
the atmosphere, by each of which, this external pressure is often 
suddenly diminished several thousand pounds, necessarily exert a 
powerful influence on the delicate structure, and functions of the 
lungs, when the health of these organs is in any way deranged. 

" From various experiments, which have been at different times 
undertaken, with a view to determine the effects produced by a 
light, and a heavy atmosphere on the function of respiration, we 
learn, that, although animals become subject to such serious incon- 
venience from the partial exhaustion of the air, within the receiver 
of an air-pump ; on the contrary, by the condensing machine, they 
sustain a degree of pressure equivalent to the weight of three or 
four atmospheres, without apparent injury ; and that, after an ani- 
mal has been subjected to this extreme pressure, it seems to expe- 
rience the most uneasiness in returning to that of its accustomed 

*' In the first instance, there can be little doubt that the incon- 
venience does not depend more on the primary abstraction of the 
air, and the scanty supply of oxygen which so rare a medium can 
afford, than on the suffocating effects produced by the distension of 
the blood-vessels lining the minute air-cells of the lungs, by which 

Southern Comt of England. 95 

the latter become diminished in their capacity ; the absolute volume 
of air received, beinfr small, in proportion as it is rarefied. 

*' In proportion also to the existing weight of the atmosphere, is 
the quantity of oxygen, which passes into the lungs, and there ap- 
propriated to the important end it is destined to fulfil in the animal 
economy ; and the necessity for a quick succession of inspirations 
is diminished in the same ratio ; while, on the contrary, respiration 
acquires equally an increased rapidity on high hills, and in air 
deteriorated by frequent inhalation. 

** Dr. Wells took unusual pains to ascertain the influence of 
situation on consumption, and he has adduced many examples in 
corroboration of the comparative rareness of the disease under a 
heavy atmosphere. He remarks, that he was led to undertake this 
enquiry, from having heard, so long back as the year 1779, that it 
was common in Flanders to remove the consumptive to the low and 
marshy parts of the country for their benefit. Mr. Mansford has 
also collected numerous instances of the greater prevalence of con- 
sumption in high, than in low situations, and Drs. Darwin, Cullen, 
Beddoes, and others, have consequently advised the removal of in- 
valids liable to this disease, from the higher to lower parts of the 
country ; and this practice is more or less common in most king- 
doms where the disorder prevails. 

*' At Aix la Chapelle, consumptions are said to be very rare, 
while at Monjoye, a mountainous country, only twenty-eight miles 
distant, this disease carries off a large proportion of the inhabitants. 
it is also said that the hill of Montmorency, near Paris, which is 
dry, sandy, and much exposed, is very productive of consumptive 
disorders, and that those who visit it, with any predisposition to 
these complaints, almost invariably derive unfavourable effects from 
the change ; and the same remark applies, with no less certainty, 
to many of the hilly parts of our own country. 

" The inhabitants also of the mountainous parts of Portugal and 
Italy* are very subject to consumption, while those of Finland, Den- 
mark, and Holland, are much less liable to its attacks. 

*' There is, consequently, amply sufficient reason for supposing, 
that it is partly from causes of this kind, connected with a greater 
degree of exposure, that this disease has been found to be less 
common in low situations than in any other. This circumstance 
has given rise to the idea that consumption and intermittent fevers, 
cannot exist to a great extent in the same district; which latter 
opinion is, nevertheless, erroneous, as they are not only found in 
the same situation, but even in the same individual. 

" Although, therefore, there is no sufficient reason for making 
choice of those more marshy districts which have been selected, on 
the continent especially, for consumptive patients, notwithstanding 
their tendency to produce intermittent fevers, we ought not to disre- 
gard the benefits arising from an increased weight of the atmosphere, 
in those situations where the latter disease need not he encountered* 

96 . Cufatlve Influence of the 

On the subject of sea air in consumption we have the fol- 
lowing observations, — 

" But although the genial properties of a sea atmosphere to 
constitutions generally, is, I believe, fully acknowledged ; it has 
been lately doubted, by certain physicians, if it be as well adapted 
for consumptive habits ; and this being an inquiry of so much im- 
portance in reference to a residence on the coast, in these cases, de- 
mands further notice. 

" That a sea atmosphere is less conducive to the production of 
consumption, than any other, may, I think, be inferred, from many 
of those kingdoms which are most exposed to it, being the least 
subject to the disease, as is particularly the case with Denmark. 
In the islands of the Mediterranean also, as in Malta, Minorca, and 
all those of the Grecian Archipelago, we are told, by Dr. Southey, 
and other authors, that consumption is of very rare occurrence. 

" On the Alexandrian coast, it appears to be altogether unknown; 
while at Aleppo, which has an intermediate latitude, but which is 
situated at a greater elevation, and is more distant from the sea, it 
is said, by several writers on the disease, to be very prevalent. It is 
also a well known fact, and particularly mentioned by Dr. Trotter, 
in his Medicina Nmitica, that consumption very rarely occurs in 
seamen, except under peculiarly unfavourable circumstances. 

" That this disease is, nevertheless, too often met with on our 
own coasts, is equally certain, though it is there less prevalent than 
elsewhere ; and it usually arises under the combined influence of 
crowded towns, a bleak and exposed aspect, and great humidity of 
soil, or under exposure to cold winds from neighbouring mountains ; 
it is said also to be very common in the interior of the island of 
Iceland, but much less frequent on its coast. 

*' The advantage of a sea atmosphere, in those cases where this 
complaint already exists, is best inferred from general experience ; 
and the most satisfactory proof of its adaptation, may be deduced 
from the numerous ages in which its benefits have been sought. 

" Aretaeus, who lived almost 460 years before the Christian era, is, 
I believe, the first who recommended sailing and a sea atmosphere 
in consumption : and although so many centuries have rolled away 
since his time, and so many publications concerning this disease 
have appeared, we find very few individuals who dissent from his 
generally received opinion. 

" Dr. Duncan observes, that he has not seen, in his practice, any 
thing which tends to confirm the idea that sea air is injurious in 
consumption, and he recommends a residence on the coast ; and, 
among many others, Dr. Gilchrist has published cases in which the 
greatest benefit has resulted from the effects of sea air." 

In speaking of winter cough, Dr. H. remarks, 

** From the whole character of the disease, therefore, it is suffi- 
ciently evident that the only effectual and reasonable mode of avoid- 

Southern Coast of England, 9t 

ing its consequences, consists in combining, as far as possible, the 
effects of an equable and elevated temperature during the winter 
months, with those means which are best adapted to impart 
strength ; thus enabling the constitution to contend against the in- 
fluence of the disorder. The advantages of pursuing such indica- 
tions are not only exhibited by daily experience, and their adoption 
strictly enjoined by all the best writers on the subject, as Dr. Bad- 
ham, Dr. Beddoes and others, but they have, I trust, been rendered 
sufficiently obvious in the preceding pages, to require very little in 
addition to what has been already observed. 

** Although material benefit, in these cases, may be constantly 
derived from a careful attention to the degree of heat employed 
within doors, yet, as Dr. Buxton has very justly remarked, * where 
a natural elevation of temperature can, without difficulty, be ob- 
tained, it is infinitely preferable to an artificial one,' as the invalid, 
in the former case, can adopt additional means of recruiting his 
health and strength, and chiefly, by exercise, in a pure and moving 
atmosphere ; which very material advantage he is necessarily pre- 
cluded from enjoying, during a confinement to his room. 

*' Although we cannot reasonably expect the perfect union of the 
most favourable of all natural means, in our own kingdom ; yet, as 
there are situations which approach this combination so much more 
nearly than others, their influence may always be sought by patients 
suffering under these complaints, with the greatest relief and benefit. 

*' This remark of course applies, with almost equal force, to all 
the more sheltered situations along our southern shore, where, from 
causes already enumerated, the thermometer is necessarily much 
less liable to variation than in any other part of England ; and 
where, during the more severe seasons, opportunities so frequently 
present themselves of taking exercise under the protection of the 
cliffs, and within the reflected influence of the sun's beams." 

The utility of exercise in gout is thus enjoined by our 

*' So various are the modes by which this important antidote 
exerts it beneficial influence, that it would be tedious to enumerate 
them ; I shall, however, briefly notice a few. By the stimulus it 
affords to the circulation, it increases the energies of the exhalents 
on the surface of the body, and, consequently, the volume of insen- 
sible perspiration ; and, without expense of animal strength, if pro- 
perly employed; it thus diminishes the mass of the circulating 

" By the sympathy existing between these exhalents and the sto- 
mach, an influence no less beneficial is communicated to this organ, 
tending to impart a healthful action to its function. The salutary 
operation of exercise on the alimentary canal also, in increasing and 
preserving its peristaltic motion, with the effects on the viscera 
derived from the action of the abdominal and other muscles, as 
before shown, is of the highest utility. 

JULY—SEPT. 1828. H 

^ • Curative Influence of the 

" Exercise not only prevents the formation of those concretions 
which are frequently deposited around the joints in gouty disorders, 
but it enables the absorbents more readily to remove such as may 
already exist. It tends also to preserve that motion in the limbs, 
which is too liable to become impaired or destroyed by contraction 
of the tendinous structures in this disease. 

" It is, moreover, an important means of correcting that acidity, 
which is almost an invariable attendant on derangement of the di- 
gestive organs, but more especially in gout, in which disease even 
the cuticular discharge is found by the chemical changes it produces 
on vegetable colours, to be of an acid nature ; this beneficial ope- 
ration it probably effects by increasing, not only the action of the 
exhalents, but also the flow of bile into the alimentary canal, which 
bile may directly tend to neutralize the existing acid, by its alkaline 

" To produce these useful effects, the exercise employed should be 
moderate, but it should be pursued with great perseverance during 
the absence of the paroxysm ; no day being allowed to pass, without 
having recourse to it, when the weather and other circumstances 
will permit." 

In the introduction to the diseases of children, are the fol- 
lowing observations, — 

" In many of the diseases of children, I am particularly anxious 
to call the attention of the reader to coast advantages, from the in- 
valuable influence they are capable of imparting; and not less, 
from the conviction, that such benefits are too often overlooked by 
parents, who, in their tender solicitude, anxiously expect, from me- 
dicine alone, that aid, which can only result from the union of the 
most powerful means which nature herself has afforded. 

*' Independently of more humane considerations, the important 
effects which the disorders of childhood produce on the health and 
well-being of society, enforce the necessity of combining every pos 
sible advantage in their favour ; yet I am convinced, that to the 
unfortunate neglect of the more natural remedies, and the resort to 
such only as are more readily attainable, may be attributed the de- 
velopment of many of those chronic diseases, to which we so often 
see youth subjected ; and which, in later years, are injurious, no 
less to the comfort, than to the prospects in life, of the individual. 

" The constitution of children renders them not only more sus- 
ceptible to those external circumstances, connected with peculiar 
locality, which are productive of disease, but imparts to them the 
capability of deriving more speedy and greater benefit from natural 
sources, than is commonly possessed in after life ; and, although, 
in every stage of existence, a pure and wholesome atmosphere tends 
so materially to the acquirement and enjoyment of health, to the 
young, this is far more essential ; whilst every other means of con- 
tributing to its insurance, is no less imperatively demanded by them. 

Southern Coast of England* ^tSf 

. ** These observations are supported by the fact, that during 
youth, the various functions employed in supplying nourishment to 
the body, are far more active than in the after periods of life, having 
now a double duty to perform, not only to sustain organization 
already existing, but to extend and mature it ; whilst, on the con- 
trary, in succeeding years, a supply, for the waste which results 
from constant action and employment, is all that is demanded from 
the functions of nutrition. 

*' As food is the source whence the nourishment of the body is 
derived, so the air, by the change it produces on this nourishment, 
through the medium of the blood, adapts it to the purpose of sup- 
porting our existence; the mutual operation, therefore, of food and 
air, in effecting the important process of nutrition, it being impos- 
sible that either should duly perform its office, without the perfect 
co-operation of the other, renders it evident, that pure and whole- 
some qualities in the atmosphere are as essential to the healthful 
development of the body, during youth, as the same qualities in the 
food which is employed. 

*' The constitutional demand for food is made known to us by 
feelings which cannot be mistaken ; and, in childhood, these are 
even still more powerful and frequent, than in later periods of life. 

" The want of wholesome air, however, does not manifest itself 
on the system so unequivocally, or imperatively, no urgent sensation 
being produced comparable to that of hunger, and hence, the greater 
danger of mistaking its indications ; the effects of its absence are 
only slowly and insidiously produced, and thus, too frequently, are 
overlooked, until the constitution is generally impaired, and the 
body equally enfeebled. 

" A child so circumstanced, although it neither suffer from pain 
or fever, loses the ruddy appearance of health ; its countenance be- 
coming pallid, and acquiring a certain anxious expression ; it often 
ceases to grow in proportion to its years, and a degree of listless^ 
ness, and a morbidly increased, or a diminished appetite for food 
prevails; until, if recourse be not had to the only rational remedy, 
that of a removal to a more salubrious situation, disease, in some 
positive form, creeps on, as the natural result of this state of priva- 
tion ; as may be so constantly observed in those, naturally, healthy 
children, which reside in crowded and confined situations." 

We fully coincide with Dr. Harwood in the belief that the 
efficacy of sea water is too much overlooked as a medicine in the 
present day ; we shall, therefore, subjoin also his observations 
on its utility in scrofula. 

** These disorders are frequently combined with an habitually 
confined state of the bowels, which greatly favours their progress, 
and impedes their cure ; and this condition seems, sometimes, to be 
-connected with constitutional fulness of habit. 

H 2 

SroO On Ornamental Aviaries. 

** In all such cases, purgative or aperient medicines become 
especially requisite ; and in the latter capacity, sea-water, which, 
from the earliest ages, has been esteemed an important remedy in 
these complaints, may be administered with very great advantage ; 
the intention, generally, being not so much to produce a powerful 
operation on the alimentary canal, as one which is gentle, and con- 
tinued, by which the action of the biliary and other secreting organs, 
may be regularly and mildly assisted. 

*' There are no purgative medicines, even of the most simple 
kind, whose use can be better regulated than sea-water ; and there 
are none, whose frequent employment is less likely to be followed, 
either by languid action, or by that state of constitutional excitement, 
or, I may add, inflammation, which, not unfrequently, succeeds the 
too frequent use of more powerful purgatives. 

** Calomel, notwithstanding its advantages, is, nevertheless, a 
medicine of this kind; for although, in these, as in so many other 
complaints, it is one of the most useful and eligible that can be em- 
ployed, not more from its purgative, than from its other properties, 
it is yet one whose use cannot, with propriety, be very frequently 
repeated, or long persevered in. It is therefore an important con- 
sideration, that the peculiar properties of sea-water are such, as to 
allow of its more constant exhibition, either alone, or in alternation 
with calomel, or with other medicines, whose peculiar properties 
may indicate the utility of their employment." 

We cannot, indeed, conclude the analysis of the work be- 
fore us, without expressing our approbation of the clear, sen- 
sible, and temperate manner, in which it has been executed, 
and our high sense of the many valuable observations it con- 

On Ornamental Aviaries, 

It is not a little surprising, that while every villa, and almost 
every cottage, has its greenhouse, or conservatory, compara- 
tively few, even of our most splendid mansions, can boast of a 
well kept aviary ; and yet, to the lover of natural history, or 
even to the mere admirer of animated nature, the latter is sure 
to afford constant amusement and gratification ; and, in point 
of expense, its first cost is not so great as a conservatory, nor 
is the keeping it up more expensive; for while the one requires 
the constant attention of an experienced gardener, the wants 
of the other can be supplied by an old woman, or a boy 3 and 

On Ornamental Aviaries. 101 

the expense of seed will not amount to more than the differ- 
ence in wages. Some humane minds Iiave objected to an 
aviary, from a dislike to deprive the inmates of their liberty ; 
this is, however, an objection more specious than real. Those 
who have directed much attention to the habits of animals, 
will confirm me in the assertion, that even birds, who have the 
power of locomotion to a greater degree than other animals, 
make excursions principally for the purpose of obtaining food; 
and I have observed the same pair of bullfinches on the same 
hedge, and started them within a few paces of the same spot, 
day after day, for many weeks ; and that in winter, when it 
could not be from the attraction of their nest. I found a pair 
of hedge-sparrows had taken leave to enter my aviary, and, 
for some time, was unable to discover how they had gained 
admittance ; but they had found a defect near the roof, through 
which they could enter, and they took advantage of it. They 
occasionally went out, but never to any distance ; they natu- 
ralized themselves to the place most completely, and had a nest 
of eggs in the aviary. I believe if animals have plenty of food, 
and suflicient room for exercise, they require and desire no 
more. If, therefore, the proprietor of an aviary consults 
the habits of the birds he places there, and supplies them with 
appropriate food, he affords them ample compensation for the 
gratification they afford him, when hearing their lively song, 
and observing their sprightly movements ; of course, there is 
great difference between the freedom of an aviary and soli- 
tary confinement in a cage. Few improvements have been 
made in the construction of aviaries, because few have ex- 
pended property or pains in erecting them. The site of an 
aviary should be facing the south or west, and sheltered from 
the north and east. It should be principally open to the air, 
and should be constructed of wire almost entirely. But there 
is no objection, indeed it is rather desirable, that some parts 
of it should be covered with a roof affording shelter in winter, 
and shade in summer. A constant supply of fresh, and, if 
possible, running, water is exceedingly necessary for the health 
and comfort of the little inmates. The aviary should be well 
covered all over with turf, excepting the walks, which should 

102 On Ornamental Aviaries. 

be gravel. The perches should be most of them over the 
walks, for the facility of cleaning ; and ample cover should 
be afforded by evergreens, such as the phyllerea, ilex, holly, 
laurel, Portugal laurel, laurustinus, yew, box, cypress, &c. 
If deciduous trees be planted, the leaves will soon be picked off, 
and the buds destroyed. If it should be intended to include 
foreign as well as native birds in the aviary, it should be so con- 
structed as to be capable of being heated in the winter ; and the 
best mode of doing this would be to have the aviary fronted with 
glass four or five feet from the wires, and the space between 
ornamented with plants, both because they would afford the 
best test of a proper temperature being maintained, and also 
this would combine the sources of gratification and amuse- 
ment. Should only a few foreign birds be admitted, separate 
apartments may be so constructed, as to communicate with 
the aviary in the summer, and to be shut up and warmed with 
a flue in the winter. This is necessary even for the canary- 
bird, which is too delicate to bear our climate without suf- 
fering ; excepting those green birds, which appear to have 
been less affected by domestication. In the gallinacii, no- 
thing is so likely to preserve them from that fatal malady, 
the roup, as constant supply of fresh water. This disease 
has been shown, by Mr. G. Montagu, to be owing to a 
species of fasciola, which fixes to some part of the trachea, 
and which multiplies to such a degree as to cause death, either 
from suffocation, or, as seems to me, by inducing inflammation 
of the membrane of the trachea. That this theory of the 
disease is correct, is confirmed by my own observation ; and I 
am, moreover, convinced, that the disease is generally induced 
by inattention to giving the young birds a supply of fresh 
water. I have little doubt, that the fasciola producing the 
disease is generated in stagnant or putrid water, and have 
found the best mode of preventing the disease was to have 
the vessels cleaned by scowering, or throwing in hot lime, every 
two or three days. Mr. Montagu recommends soaking the 
food in wine ; I cannot say I have found this remedy answer 
iny expectations. I know a farm-yard where the housewife 
is a most caFeful attentive woman, but she complains she can 

On Ornamental Aviaries. M3 

keep none of her chickens, on account of their being attacked 
with the roup. On examining the yard, I found the poultry 
were in the habit of drinking at a horse-pool, which received 
the drainings of the pigsties and ox-stalls, and this appeared 
sufficient to account for the prevalence of the disease. I 
found my young brood of pheasants and partridges always 
did well till they were shut up in my poultry-yard, or aviary ; 
and as soon as that was the case they began to suffer from the 

But to return to the aviary — birds are either carnivorous, 
granivorous, or insectivorous *. The first class are not fitted 
for the aviary — the second always do well — the third re- 
quire great care to keep them in health. I have found that 
the best food for constant supply is buck wheat, hemp, rape 
and canary seeds, and a mixture of barley meal and grated 
liver. The latter is particularly necessary for the lark tribe and 
the Sylvias, and also for the merulidae. Snails, slugs, and 
worms, should be frequently supplied also ; and green food, 
such as groundsel, chickweed, lettuce, and water- cresses ; also 
the seed of plantain, dock, and thistles occasionally. The 
seed should be provided in boxes, so constructed that a little 
only should fall down at a time. There should be several 
boxes, as the stronger birds are apt to tyrannise over the 
weaker, and keep them from their food ; and each of the boxes 
should have several divisions of wire, or wood. 

The enemies of the aviary are numerous : of these the cat is 
the most formidable ; they will sit on the roof of the aviary for 
hours in a moonlight night, alarm the little inmates, and then 
pounce on them as they fly towards the light, and against the 
wire. I have sometimes found three or four birds in a morning 
killed by the cats, sometimes the head torn off, but often entire, 

* These may be subdivided into those which live almost entirely on the 
wing, and whose food consists of those insects which they meet with 
flying, or those which hve on the larvae or eggs of insects which they 
meet with on the ground. The former are quite inappUcable for the 
aviary ; for, independent of their being migratory, it would be impossible 
to supply appropriate food — the food of the latter may be afforded or 

104 On Ornamental Aviaries. 

but pierced with the claws, and killed with terror. The wires 
of the aviary should not be more than half an inch apart, 
both to secure from this enemy, and also from that formi- 
dable one the stoat, or common weazel. The aviary also 
suffers much from rats and mice, the latter especially mul- 
tiply exceedingly, from the abundant food they obtain ; to 
prevent this as much as possible, the food should always be 
supplied in the boxes I have described, or on a table on a 
single pedestal. I had a circular tin-case, with holes at inter- 
vals all round ; this was supplied by a large central box, from 
which the seed dropped down into all the partitions, so as to 
keep a constant moderate supply ; this, supported on a pe- 
destal, is not inelegant. 

I will now shortly enumerate the birds most fitted for an 
aviary : of course, none of the genus falco or the genus strix 
can be inmates of the aviary ; they are very pretty appendages 
to it, however, if they are braced and chained to a stand. I 
have kept the kestrel and the martin in this manner, and they 
are beautiful specimens of their kind. The genus lanius is 
also inadmissible ; of the picae, the jay is a pretty ornament, 
but too mischievous to be at large in the aviary ; the other 
species are not sufficiently ornamental to compensate for their 
mischievous propensities. I have never possessed the chat- 
terer, ampelis garrulus — it would, doubtless, be a great orna- 
ment to the aviary. There is a bird, which I have kept only 
for a short time, but which, I doubt not, a little pains and per- 
severance would preserve, and a beautiful ornament it would 
be to the aviary, viz., the kingfisher. There have been in- 
stances of this bird being rendered very tame, and if the stream 
which supplies the aviary were stocked with minnows and 
gudgeons he would be sure to thrive. The creeper is a very 
gentle little bird, and easily kept. Of the passeres, the star- 
ling is a handsome and very amusing bird ; but his habits 
are so bad, and he is so destructive to smaller birds, that he 
cannot be admitted as an inmate of the aviary, except in a 
distinct apartment. The genus turdus is the great pride of 
the aviary : they are easily kept, soon become domesticated 
and familiar, breed most freely, and repay you by their song 

On Ofimmenfal Aviaries. 105 

nine months in the year. I have had many generations born 
in my aviary : they require an abundance of snails and worms 
during the breeding season. The most beautiful are the 

Turdus Viscivorus Missel Thrush 

— — Musicus Song Thrush 

Merula Blackbird 

Torquatus Ring Ouzel — the three 

first are the only ones 1 possessed. 

Of the genus loxia, I have kept only the 

Loxia Curvirostra Cross Beak 

Pyrrhula Bullfinch 

Chloris Greenfinch ; 

but they may all be kept with great facility. The loxia cur- 
virostra, the cross beak, is very ornamental and amusing ; but 
their beak is an instrument of great mischief, and they com- 
mit much havoc by barking the trees, and destroying the wood- 
work of the aviary. The other members of the genus are 
easily kept, and the loxia pyrrhula, or common bullfinch, is 
one of the most beautiful of the inmates of the aviary. It is 
scarcely possible, however, to keep more than one pair, unless 
the aviary be very large, as they fight during the season of 
love with most unrelenting pertinacity. The genus emberiza 
are easily kept; but I have only had one species, viz., embe- 
riza citrinella, or yellow hammer, a very pretty bird, although 
its note is rather unpleasant. The genus fringilla is the chief 
ornament of the aviary : of these I have kept specimens of the 
following, without any difficulty, for a very long time, viz., 

Fringilla Domestica House Sparrow 

Montana Tree Sparrow 

Coelebs Chaffinch 

Montifringilla Mountain Finch 











Can aria 

Common Canary Bird. 

These birds all breed in the aviary, and by their familiarity 

JOS On Ornamental Aviaries* 

and their lovely notes amply repay us for our trouble. They 
are too, almost all of them, gregarious, and many specimens of 
each kind may be kept in the same aviary ; they are all of 
them granivorous, and only require a good supply of greens 
daily, to keep in perfect health. The genus alauda are kept with 
more difficulty, but they thrive well on barley meal and grated 
Hver. They often suffer from the mice, who destroy their 
eggs, and sometimes even themselves, when roosting on the 
ground ; of these I have only kept, 

Alauda Arborea Woodlark 

— Arvensis Skylark 

Pratensis Titlark. 

The genus Motacilla is easily kept, and the motacilla 
flava is one of the most elegant birds that are found in this 
island. It is a graceful and familiar little creature, and its 
colour very beautiful and ornamental. The genus Sylvia is 
kept in the common aviary with great difficulty ; the greater 
number of them are migratory, and their food principally in- 
sects. They require a regulated temperature in winter, and 
insect food, which at that season is very difficult to obtain. 
The perseverance of Mr. Sweet has been rewarded by the do- 
mestication of many of them, and the beauty of their song, 
and the elegance of their movements, is sufficient incitement 
to make the attempt. They will, however, almost all of them, 
require a separate apartment. The following will succeed 
very well in the common aviary, and I have kept them very 
successfully on the common food of the aviary. 
Sylvia Modularis Hedge Warbler 

Rubecula Redbreast 

Troglodytes Common Wren 

Regulus Golden-crested Wren. 

These are very pretty inmates for the aviary. It will be 

scarcely possible to keep more than one pair of the redbreasts, 
as he is quite master of the place, beating birds twice his 
size, and prying into every thing which is placed there ; they 
are most prolific ; but it is almost impossible to be sure of 
getting a pair, as there is but the slightest difference between 
the cock and the hen. 

On Ornamental Aviaries, 107 

Of the genus Parus, the parus major, or great titmouse. — 
Parus coeruleus, or blue titmouse, are easily kept, and are 
very pretty birds. I have myself kept none others of the 

Of the coluraba, the columba turtra, turtle-dove, and se^ 
veral foreign inmates, may be kept perfectly well, and they 
are exceedingly prolific, gentle, and easily domesticated. There 
is a white variety of the common Barbary dove, (which is 
common all over the south of Europe,) which is a very ele- 
gant and beautiful variety. The gallinacii are, perhaps, better 
kept in an open poultry-yard than in the aviary, except the 
gold pheasant, which is a proper appendage to it, and is to- 
lerably hardy; but the silver and common pheasants, pi- 
nioned by having the last joint of the wing cut off when they 
are young, do better with a larger range than the aviary affords. 
The genus perdix, however, are very pretty birds for the 
aviary ; as the 

Perdix Cinerea Common Partridge 

Rufa Redlegged Partridge 

Coturnix or common Quail, 

but the latter are too delicate for this climate in general. The 
only other bird I shall mention, as suitable for the aviary, is^ 
the tringa vanellus, or common peewit, which feeds very well 
on bread crumbs, worms, and other insects. I have thus enu- 
merated most of the varieties of our British birds, which are ap- 
propriate for the aviary. The continent of Europe and North 
America afford many beautiful specimens which would live 
in our climate ; and if the taste for ornamenting the aviary 
were pursued with half as much zeal as for making acquisi- 
tions for the green-house, the varieties would, indeed, be 
great, and the pains well repaid ; and if the aviary were con- 
structed with only moderate regard to preserving equal tempe- 
rature, such as is sufficient for the ericae, proteae, acacise, 
&c. &c., our aviaries might contain the most splendid speci- 
mens of the merulae, tangarae, cotingae, &c., a far more inte- 
resting mode of preserving them than as stuffed specimens. It 
is to be hoped that the aviaries of the Zoological Society will 
be models to show how many living beauties may be natu- 
ralized in this country. But, if I might be allowed to make 

108 Observations on the 

the observation, I think the design which is shown for the 
aviary in the Regent's Park, although exceedingly elegant in 
appearance, yet will not succeed for keeping the birds. It is 
too exposed and open to the north and east to afford any mo-' 
derate degree of shelter to the birds during winter, and 1 fear 
many will thus perish. 

My friend, Mr. MaHphant, architect, in Blenheim-street, 
has been so kind as to embody my ideas in a design for an 
aviary, which would, I think, combine all the advantages of 
shelter and ornament. The front and roof are proposed 
to be of glass. The centre-part and two wings may be 
either covered in with glass or patent zinc. A walk may be 
made within the glass, and outside the wire, as it is proposed 
to leave a space of five feet between the glass in front and the 
wire, which would afford room for a paved walk, and a bed for 
exotic plants ; thus combining the beauties of the aviary and 
the conservatory. It would be advisable to have the wire at 
the roof within two or three inches of the glass. The same 
plan would do exceedingly well for a common aviary, in which 
case wire would be substituted for the glass ; and the rooms 
at each end would be useful to contain delicate birds during 
the winter months. 


Observations on the Force of our Ships of War, 

During the last few years, naval matters have been gradually 
coming before the public eye. Open and free discussion has, 
at last, made its appearance, and, as usual, has produced vast 
benefit in dispelling the mystery and darkness in which the 
construction, equipment, and economy of our naval force were 
formerly concealed. 

It is a singular fact, that a Frenchman* should have been 
the first to have deemed our naval establishment worthy of 
being described and descanted on ; but it is no less true, 
that we owe to a foreigner almost every information we pos- 
sess on the subject, as well as the attention he has excited by 

• Baron Charles Dupin— Force Navale de la Grande Bretagne. 

Force of our Ships of War, 109 

his writings. That attention has been wonderfully increased ; 
and we now see this once neglected but most important national 
topic introduced in almost every scientific or literary pub- 
lication of eminence of the day ; and even periodical works 
expressly devoted to its consideration, have been published. 
It is true, indeed, that much erroneous argument, and, conse- 
quently, many false conclusions have proceeded from those 
who are unacquainted with naval philosophy ; but even these 
have been of service, for the detection and exposure of error 
is as important as the developement of truth. 

The accession of His Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence 
to the office of Lord High Admiral has given a fresh impulse 
to the desire of improvement ; and it is said to be in contem- 
plation to make some very important innovations in the arma- 
ment of our floating citadels ; it is, therefore, solely with a wish 
to aid the intentions of His Royal Highness, that we intend 
briefly to examine the principles to which such alterations 
should be referred, and to point out how far we are justified in 
proposing an adoption of them. 

The first element to be considered, in a ship of war, is, 
necessarily, its force ; and this consists in its artillery; but 
there are two ways in which this force can be modified, viz. — 
1st. By the quantity of guns mounted. 
2dly. By the quality or calibre of the ordnance. 

If we merely estimated the force of a ship of war by the 
number of its guns, we might be led into very great error. The 
famous Harry Grace de Dieu, built in 1515, was mounted 
with 122 pieces of ordnance *, a number exceeding even that 
with which our present first rates are established, but not more 
than thirteen of these were of the calibre of nine pounds, and 

The calibre of a piece of artillery gives us a definite idea of 
its individual power ; but this term alone does not furnish us 
with a correct notion of a vessel's force beyond that of carrying 
'' heavy or light metal." It becomes necessary, therefore, 
that both the number and calibre of guns must be expressed, 
to give us a precise description of the fighting power of a ship. 

* Charnock's Hist, of Marine Arch. vol. ii. p. 44. 

110 Observations on the 

. In the earlier periods of the application of ordnance to naval 
warfare, it was usual to carry, not only various calibres on 
board the same ship, but even to have two or three different 
natures on the same deck. Much inconvenience and confusion 
must have unavoidably arisen on this account; but we find 
that it was not until the latter part of the reign of Charles I. 
that any attempts were made to remedy the serious evils inhe- 
rent in such a disregard of system. The first regular establish- 
ment of guns for the various classes of ships of the royal navy 
is, we believe, that given by Derrick, in his Memoirs, and was 
made in the year 1677. We find in it an uniformity of calibre 
established for each respective deck ; for instance, the lower 
deck of a three-decked ship of 100 guns was armed entirely with 
42 pounders, or (as they were then called) cannon of 7 * ; the 
middle deck with 18-pounders, or culverins ; and the upper 
deck with 6-pounders, or sakers. 

As may be naturally supposed, repeated attempts have been 
made to increase the force of our ships of war ; not only by 
increasing the number, but also by increasing the calibre, of 
their ordnance ; but the former alternative has, from the diffi- 
culties and expense attending it, (by requiring much larger 
ships,) been comparatively little resorted to ; indeed, we find 
that our present largest first rates carry only twenty guns more 
than the first rates in 1677 ; and our largest two-decked ships 
of the line mount only fourteen more than the two-deckers of 
the same period. Hence it has been principally in the general 
increase of calibre of naval ordnance that the present superior 
force of our floating batteries consists. 

In treating of cannon with relation to the qualities and capa- 
bilities required in them, as forming the armament of a ship, 
it will appear, on a due consideration, that there are two prin- 
cipal objects which should be attended to in the construc- 
tion of a piece of sea-service ordnance, viz., facility of its 
service in time of action, and the influence which the guns 
possess over the sailing qualities of the ship : both these desi- 
derata are dependent on the weight of the gun. This element 
not only governs the celerity of its service, but also has a great 

* That is, cannon of seven inches, or whose bore was seven inches in 

Force of our Ships of War, 111 

influence on the displacement and stability of the vessel ; it is 
chiefly on the latter account that in ships of two or more 
decks, it becomes necessary to diminish successively the 
weights ; and, according to the common constitution of artillery, 
the calibres in the upper tiers. 

Since, therefore, it appears that the guns of the greatest 
weight should be placed on the lowest battery, it will be im- 
portant to see how far experience has determined this maxi- 
mum *, which^ of course, must, above all other considerations, 
depend on the power and ease of management in time of action. 
Manual exertion is confined within comparatively narrow 
limits ; but it is possible to construct a vessel that should carry 
much heavier ordnance than the heaviest now used. A mass 
of about 80 cwt. seems, from experience, to be the maximum 
of weight that can be allowed without losing the requisite cele- 
rity in the service of the guns. This we ascertain, not from 
our own practice, but from that of a foreign nation. The 
weight of a French 36-pounder and carriage is 83 cwt. f ; that 
of our highest calibre of sea service long-gun and its carriage is 
only 64 cwt. J : we see, therefore, that the French retain, as 
manageable, a weight exceeding ours by 18| cwt., or nearly 
one ton. 

Admitting, however, that our 32-pounder is equivalent in 
force to the French 36-pounder, and is otherwise as good a 
gun, it would have the advantage in a long action, since it 
could be served with much less fatigue and with fewer hands. 
This is certainly an important consideration ; but the same re- 
commendation, in a considerable degree, will be found to have 
been attached to a higher calibre of English ordnance now 
discarded from the naval service, excepting in the form of car- 

* This quantity is much greater in the sea service, than in the land 
service, on account of the loco-motion which naval ordnance possesses in 
common with the ship on board which it is mounted. Garrison ord- 
nance, however, from being stationary, is as heavy as that of the sea 
service ; and, indeed, is generally, in the British service, supplied 
from it. 

t The weight of the French 36-pounder used on the lower decks of their 
ships of the line, is nearly 71 i cwt., and the carriage weighs 11^ cwt., 
making together 83 cwt. 

t The English 32-pounder gun of 9J feet long, weighs 56 cwt., and its 
carriage 8^ cwt., m^ing together 644 cwt 

112 Observations on the 

ronades. The 42-pounder gun, until the year 1793, formed 
the armament of the lower decks of all our first rates, and 
weighed 63 or 65 cwt. ; so that even this heaviest of English 
naval ordnance, which was dispensed with on account of its 
unmanageable weight, was at least one-third of a ton lighter 
than the truly powerful gun which still forms the principal arm 
of the line-of-battle ships of the French navy, and the weight 
of which has very recently been adopted by an author* of great 
merit, as that which is sufficiently manageable. 

We now proceed to make a few remarks on the calibres of 
ordnance used on board ship. The celebrated Robins, in a 
tract, first printed in 1747, entitled *^ A Proposal for increasing 
the Strength of the British Navy," fully points out the great 
augmentation of force to be derived from using higher calibres ; 
and Muller, in his Treatise of Artillery, in 1768, makes a simi- 
lar proposition. The fact is, that the larger calibres possess the 
great advantage of making greater breaches in an enemy's 
hull ; their superiority of mass produces a greater momentum 
with a given velocity, and their ranges are greater even with a 
less proportional weight of powder. 

The calibres of our guns should never be much less than 
those used on board the ships of other nations ; they may be 
as much greater as possible. Experience has shown how much 
our 18-pounder gun, the common armament of our most 
numerous class of frigates, compromised their safety, when op- 
posed to the 24-pounder of the American frigates, in the last 

The Portuguese still use their 48-pounder, equivalent to 
45.79 lbs. English calibre, for their heaviest ship gun, and the 
Dutch their 32-pounder, equivalent to the calibre of 34.54 lbs. 
avoirdupois : the Russians, Swedes, and Spaniards, use their 
several 36-pounders, respectively, equal to the calibres of 31. 95, 
33.73, and 34.42 lbs. avoirdupois. All these guns, except the 
Russian, are, therefore, superior to our heaviest calibre, the 
32-pounder. But this last gun, which forms the arm of the 
lower decks of all our ships of the line, stands in a greater 
ratio of inferiority with the French 36-pounder, than even the 

♦ M. Paixhans, Nouvelle Force Maritime, 1820. 

Force of our Ships of tVar, llS 

18-pounder to the 24-pounder. The French 36.poiin(l ball is 
equivalent to the calibre of 38.86 lbs. avoirdupois, being nearly 
seven pounds heavier than our 32-pound shot. This superi- 
ority of the French naval ordnance has been often felt by naval 
men. Captain Brenton, in his Naval History, repeatedly 
mentions the 36-pounder as giving the French navy a decided 
advantage. This advantage they have always retained in their 
two-decked ships of the line ; but until 1793 our three-deckers, 
with their 42-pounders on the lower deck, possessed the supe- 
riority over the force of the same class of ships of the French 
marine. The 42-pounder gun rejected in 1793, though 7 or 8 
cwt. heavier than the present 32-pounder, was lighter than the 
French 36-pounder, by 6 or 8 cwt. ; and, before it was thrown 
out of the service, some means should have been devised to 
have rendered its management, at least, equally easy as the 
French 36-pounder gun, which, as we have already said, has 
been unequivocally declared to be sufficiently convenient in its 

It may here be observed, that the Americans have adopted 
the calibre of 42 pounds for the guns of the lower decks of 
their three-decked ships ; and we should not omit to mention 
that, with the present service charge, the point blank range of 
a 42-pounder is fifty yards more than that of the 32-pounder ; 
and that at the small elevation of 1° the range of the former 
exceeds that of the latter by nearly 300 yards *. 

As it has been most decidedly proved by Mutton's valuable 
experiments on military projectiles, that the weight of a gun 
of given length has no influence on the velocity of the ball, we 
have only to refer this element of a piece of naval ordnance, 
besides the power of management, to the attainment of a steady 
recoil ; to the necessary length; and, lastly, to the required 
thickness of metal. 

We suspect that much needless weight had been added to 
the 42-pounder, for we find that in 1768, that nature of ord- 
nance weighed only 55j cwt. f Mr. Muller, whose work on artil- 
lery gives us this information, does not mention any objection 

♦ Vide Naval Gunnery, by Sir H. Douglas. 
•I- Mailer's Treatise of Artillery. 
JULY— SBPT. 18*28. I 

114 Observations on the 

to this weight, but that he thought it too great, and proposed a 
42-pounder of 52J cvvt. We may, therefore, safely assume 
that it was a serviceable gun in every respect ; and as it was 
ten feet long, a diminution of six inches in length might either 
have reduced this weight, or, retaining the same weight, have 
obtained a greater thickness of metal at the breech. 

It appears, from the best authorities, that the weight of the 
42-pounder gun has varied from 55J cwt. to 65 cwt., and the 
length from 9 to 10 feet. The greatest length now allowed 
for sea-service guns, is 9J feet. The brass 9^ feet 42-pounders 
of the famous Royal George, which was, we believe, the last 
ship in our service armed with brass guns, weighed rather more 
than 61 J cwt. each. From these facts we may infer, that suf- 
ficient steadiness of recoil can be obtained when the ratio of the 
weight of the gun to the shot is greater than that of 147 to 1. 

There cannot, therefore, be a doubt but that the 42-pounder 
might be again introduced into the catalogue of sea-service 
ordnance, with a weight of 61 cwt., or half a ton lighter than 
the present French 36-pounder gun : now, if we dispensed 
with the useless mass of metal about the muzzle, which only 
detracts from the elevation, depression and training of the gun, 
and renders its service doubly delicate*, and disposed it about 
the breech, so as to give a more conical form to the piece, there 
would result the advantages of a greater projection of muzzle 
beyond the port, and a much stronger gun. This conical form 
has been fully proved to be the proper one for sea-service, as 
exemplified in the Congreve 24-pounder, which forms the pre- 
sent arm of the upper decks of our fir^t rates. 

* All gunnery operations at sea ought to be reduced, if possible, to an 
unity of purpose, and the mind of the gunner should not be distracted by 
two intentions, viz., hitting his mark, and preventing the swell of the 
muzzle from breaking away the side of the port in the recoil, and doing 
other mischief, on account of this contact taking place. The muzzle swell 
should be got rid of, and the chace carried right through, excepting at the 
quarters, where the swell might be left, so as to afford a sufficient hold 
for the muzzle lashing, when the gun is housed. Such a piece of ord- 
nance could not wood or strike the side of the port in its recoil. The 
present ordnance could, at a small expense, be altered, to effect such a 
desirable purpose. It is true that the quarter sights would thus be aban- 
doned, but at sea they have very rarely been of any service, and, with the 
present sights, are rendered wholly unnecessary in the operation of point- 
ing guns on board ship. 

Force of our Ships of War, 115 

Admitting, howeverj that the size of the shot of 42 pounds 
weight renders it too difficult for a man to manage with ease, 
when quick firing is required, and this appears to us to be the 
only feasible objection to it, we cannot imagine that the same 
objection can possibly be urged against the ball of 38 or 36 
pounds weight. The diameter of the 42 pound ball i|S 6.684 
inches 3 the diameter of the 38 pound shot 6.465, and that of 
the 36 pound bullet 6.35 inches. 

We understand that it is contemplated to put 32-pounder 
guns of the increased weight of 63 cwt., in imitation of the 
Americans, on the lower decks of our ships of war of two and 
three decks, removing the present 32-pounders of 56 cwt. to the 
deck above ; and mounting, in three-decked ships, guns of the 
same calibre on the upper deck, but of only 49j cwt. Now, if 
this measure be adopted, for the purpose of obtaining an unity 
of calibre y we say that it will be done with much more weight 
than is necessary, and that, by again introducing a gun of 63 
cwt. into the naval service, an opportunity offers of raising our 
maximum calibre to very nearly that of the French, by intro- 
ducing the calibre of 38 pounds, with a gun 9J feet long. 

Although in establishing an unity of calibre with the maxi- 
mum calibre as its base, we certainly increase the weight of 
metal thrown at a broadside ; yet, before we decidedly pro- 
nounce it to be an increase of power, we must first inquire at 
what distance this modified force is efiective. The fact is, that- 
such a step requires some consideration, and should be referred 
to the principle, that none of the superior calibres of ordnance 
should be inferior, in point of range, to those it is intended to 
supersede. For instance, the guns of the middle deck of a 
three-decked ship should possess, with the proposed higher 
calibre, a range not inferior to the 24-pounders they are sub- 
stituted for. We shall now proceed to examine how far this is 
practicable with a calibre of 38 pounds. 

It has been already mentioned that the weight of a piece of 
ordnance, considered merely as a projectile instrument, is only 
referable to its influence on the recoil, and the strength re- 
quired throughout the length of the bore to resist the action of 
the charge with perfect safety. Now, if we refer the weight of 
a 38 pound ball to 63 cwt., we should have a ratio of 1 to 

I 2 

llB Observations on the 

186.31, which all experience has proved to produce a very 
steady recoil: in fact, the ratio of the ball of 32 pounds to the 
weight of the present gun of that nature, is less by only six 
times the weight of the shot. 

But a question now arises of great importance. Are we to 
lay aside all the ordnance of the calibre of 32 pounds, merely 
to introduce that of 38 pounds, and thus entail a great loss on 
the country ? We answer, no ! The present 32-pounder gun 
of 9j feet long, and 56 cwt, if rebored or reemed out to the 
calibre of 38 pounds, would still weigh 55.12 cwt., or 162.55 
times its new shot, which is very nearly the ratio between the 
weight of the brass 42-pounder of the Royal George, and its 
shot. The 32-pounder gun of 8J feet and 49i cwt., might 
similarly be adapted to the calibre of 38 pounds, with a loss of 
only 81 lbs. of metal, which would reduce its weight to 142.28 
times that of the ball, or nearly the ratio subsisting between 
the old iron 42-pounder of 55 cwt., and its shot, and which 
used to be fired with charges of half, two-thirds, or even three- 
fourths the weight of the shot, instead of the present lower 
charge of one-third the weight of the shot. This modification 
would cause but a very slight decrease of thickness of metal in 
these two guns ; for the diameter of a 38 pound ball is 6.465 
inches, and if we add to this the windage now adopted for all 
calibres of heavy ordnance above 12-pounders, viz., .15 of an 
inch, we have 6.615 for the diameter of the bore of a 38-pounder 
gun. Now the diameter of a 32-pounder shot is 6.105 inches, 
and with the common windage to which these guns are con- 
structed, we shall have 6.41 inches for the calibre of the present 
32-pounder gun : hence this gun can be reemed out for a 
•38-pounder, with an increase of calibre of .205 of an inch, or a 
decrease in thickness of metal of .102 of an inch ; a quan- 
tity too trivial to excite the slightest apprehension of bursting*. 

* In reeming out the 32-poimder for our purpose, the part of the bore 
about the charge might be left as it is, and thus preserve the original 
thickness of metal. The enlarged part of the bore being carried into it in 
the surface of a hollow conical frustum, so that the shot being forced 
into it would always have its centre in the axis of the bore, — an advantage 
'too obvious to be insisted upon. This idea we owe to M. Gomer, a 
French artillery officer of distinction, about the middle of the last century ; 
and M. Paixhans has availed himself of it in a similar manner, as we 
jnay see in his " Nouvelle Force Maritime." - 

Force of our Ships of War, 117 

From Hutton*s experiments, we may conclude that, in dif- 
ferent calibres of guns having the same length and windage, 
the ranges at the same elevation are nearly as the fourth roots 
of the charges directly, and inversely as the fourth roots of the 
weight of the shot; hence the range of a 38-pounder of 9^ 
feet long, with 10 lbs. of powder, is to the range of the 
24-pounder of the same length, fired with 8 lbs., as 3.93 to 4.17, 
a pretty near approximation to a ratio of equality ; but if we 
consider that the proposed 38-pounder has nearly one half less 
windage than that hitherto allowed to the 24-poander, we may 
safely reckon on the usual full range of a 24-pounder being 
given to the 38 pound balls projected from the middle and 
upper tiers, with the charge proposed. Indeed, from some 
recent experiments * made on the windage of guns, such a result 
cannot be doubted. 

If, therefore, it should, upon actual trial, be found incon- 
venient to employ the full service charge of one-third the 
weight of the shot for these converted pieces, and thereby have 
an unitij of range, as well as calibre, to our proposed arma- 
ment J, we may still secure to ourselves, with a reduced charge, 
all the advantages that arise from projecting a shot of 38 
pounds to the same distance as we do at present those of 241bs. 
and 181bs. from the same decks. The same remarks apply in 
degree to the use of double-shotted discharges : and we may, 
in adverting to the use of two shot, remark, that the great un- 
certainty of hitting the object with double-shotted guns, ex- 
cepting when very close, should always prevent a ship from 
throwing away its fire in double shots, at long ranges, with the 
full service charge. This is a fact, we believe, so fully esta- 
blished by careful experiment, and so generally admitted by 
those most conversant in practical gunnery, that we need not 
insist on it any further than by saying that it is better to 

* Vide Sir H. Douglas's Naval Gunnery ; wherein it appears that the 
range of a 12-pounder, whose windage was .1 of an inch, instead of .22 
of an inch, (the common windage,) was rather greater with l-6th less 
powder than the usual charge. 

t This would be rigorously correct^for two of our guns, as they are of 
the same length, and very nearly so for the three, as the gun of 49i cwt. 
is only twelve inches shorter ; and the ranges are nearly as the Jffth ropts 
Of the lengths, with the same charges and calibres. 

118 Observations on the 

fire only one shot with certainty, than two with the chances of 
throwing away both. 

We contend, therefore, that an experiment with the gun 
proposed of the cahbre of 38, and the present 32-pounders 
bored out to the same calibre, as also the 32-pounder carronade 
similarly converted, should be made to ascertain whether it be 
not possible to introduce the calibre of 38 pounds into our 
naval service as the sole arm for all ships of the line and 
heavy frigates ; and that such an opportunity as the present 
should not be allowed to escape us without making the 

M. Paixhans, in his ** Nouvelle Force Maritime," proposes 
the calibre of 36 pounds^ as the only one for naval service ; but, 
in adopting his suggestion, we are necessitated, in the smaller 
vessels of war, to make a sacrifice of range by employing lighter 
guns than we propose : thus, in the 64 gun frigate he would 
be obliged to employ the 36-pounder of the same weight as 
the 24.-pounder it would supersede, but of less power of range, 
because projecting a heavier shot with only the same charge as 
the latter gun. This deficiency would become still more ap- 
parent in the next class of frigates, where he proposes to em- 
ploy a 36-pounder of the same weight as the 18-pounder, 
which is the present arm ; and it becomes a matter of grave 
consideration whether, in such cases, it would be prudent to 
give up power of range for the increase of calibre, as derived 
from his system. 

In advancing our proposition, we do not pretend to original- 
Kty, as it is only a modification of that of M. Paixhans ; but 
we possess a singular advantage over him, in point of economy ^ 
inasmuch as with only one new nature of ordnance we can ob- 
tain all the advantages to be derived from an unity of calibre, 
with a corresponding increase of force over our present sea- 
service ordnance, by taking the maximum calibre at a higher 
point ; whereas this author is obliged to go to the great ex- 
pense of introducing two new descriptions of ordnance, besides 
throwing aside those of 24 and 18 already in use. It may also 

* This author adopts .the present French 36-pounder, and two others; 
one of which is 142 times the weight of the shot, and the other 1 1 6 times. 

Force of our Ship^ of War, ll9 

be crt)"S6rved, that the 38-pounder we propose to obtain from 
the 9J feet and 8 j feet 32-pounder, are much superior in rela- 
tive weight to the two lighter and shorter 36-pounders of M 
Paixhans, and, therefore, capable of bearing larger charges, 
and producing greaiter ranges than his guns. 

The additional weight accruing from this armament, in a 
ship of 120 guns, would be nearly 91 tons *, which would cause 
her to sink about 3j inches more than with the common 
ordnance equipment. 

Thus we have proposed a scale upon which our naval ord- 
nance may obtain the maximum of simplicity, together with an 
increase offeree, which, if we adopt the calibre of 38 pounds, 
will amount, in a ship of 120 guns, to nearly half as much 
metal again being projected at each broadside than is thrown 
by the usual armament f . 

M. Paixhans has proposed, with great plausibility, the intro- 
duction of shells into naval artillery, and his system has been par- 
tially experimented on with much apparent success J ; but 
although his proposition opens the door for a fresh modification 
of sea-service ordnance, we imagine that there are certain ob- 
stacles arising from the peculiar nature of naval warfare, which 
will render the adoption of it, to its full extent, very difficult. 
The great feature in it, besides that of explosion, is the pro- 
perty of giving hollow shot much larger calibres than our 
largest solid shot, with less weight than the latter, possess. 
For instance, the hollow shot of the calibre of 80 pounds, or 
8 inches French in diameter, weighs, when filled, only 55 
pounds French, or about 60 lbs. avoirdupois ; the hollow shot 
of the calibre of 150 pounds, or 10 inches French in dia- 
meter, weighs only 110 pounds French, when filled, or nearly, 
or 119 lbs. avoirdupois. 

It must, however, be recollected, that in augmenting the 
calibre to, perhaps, 10 inches, in the manner proposed by M. 
Paixhans, there arises a disadvantage in the loss of time ; for 

* This weight is estimated at the war proportion of ammunition. 

t A broadside of sixty 38-pounders will project 2280 pounds of metal ; 
a broadside consisting of sixteen .32's, thirty-four 24 's, six 32 pounder 
carronades, and four 1 2-pounders, only amounts to 1568 pounds of metal. 

I See No. 2 of the Naval and Military Magazine, for June, 1827. 

120 Observations on the Force of our Ships of War, 

the size of the projectile and its weight, become again so con- 
siderable *, that it will require two men to carry it ; and if the 
sea be agitated, this inconvenience will be still more feltt. It 
is on this account, chiefly, that it requires to be decided by an 
actual experiment at sea, whether there would result any real 
advantage from having an entire battery, say of 68-pounders 
even, over one of 38-pounders. The former, we apprehend, 
could only fire, from their relative lightness J, single shot ; 
whilst the latter would pour in double shot, and more than 
twice the weight of metal at each discharge, besides making two 
large breaches, instead of one. We do not say, however, that 
the 68-pounder may not be advantageously employed when 
partially adopted, as at present, on the lower decks of our 
ships of the line ; but the practice brings along with it the evil 
of having two calibres on the same deck. We should prefer 
them in midships, and weighing as much as 55 or 60 cwt. 
Three or four, or perhaps half a dozen, of a side, although 
slow in their service, would prove, when discharged at a critical 
moment, for which they might be reserved, a tremendous auxi- 
liary to ordnance already advanced to the greatest calibre, with- 
out sacrificing the necessary celerity in working, and powers of 
range ; and if a separate magazine in midships were con- 
structed for the ammunition of these pieces, confusion might 
be avoided in the hurry of action. 

We shall abstain from making any further remarks on the 
subject of hollow projectiles for sea-service, because the idea 
has not yet been sufficiently put to the test of experiment, and 
certainly not at all to that of actual service. 

The force of a ship of war is, as we have already said, the 
first element to be considered in its theoretical construction ; 
and we might here proceed to explain its influence on the pro- 
portions and sailing qualities ; but this will more properly be a 
subject for future consideration. 

* The weight of an English ten-inch hollow shot, when filled, would be 
95 lbs. ; and when empty, about 85 i lbs. 

t M. Paixhans himself seems to be fully aware of the magnitude of 
these difficulties. 

% The new 68-pounder gun introduced by General Millar, weighs only 
82 times its shot. ' ^ 


An Account of a New (jfenus of Plants called Diplogenea. 
By John Lindley, Esq., F.R.S., Professor of Botany in the 
University of London. 

The genus which is the subject of the following observations 
forms part of a small collection of plants gathered in Mada- 
gascar, for the Horticultural Society of London, by the late 
Mr. John Forbes. By permission of the Society it has been 
allowed to be described and made public in this Journal. 

The specimens consist of a few shrivelled branches 
with flower-buds and expanded flowers, but without fruit. 
From their appearance, it may be presumed that the plant 
to which they belonged was parasitical. The branches 
are brown, taper, fleshy, glabrous, very zigzag in direction, 
when young compressed, with a few dichotomous ramifi- 
cations ; the joints seem to have been rather tumid. The 
leaves are opposite, fleshy, spreading, glabrous, entire, oblong, 
retuse, tapering into a short petiole, triply ribbed, but other- 
wise destitute of all appearance of veins ; their parenchyma, 
consist of large irregularly hexagonal cells, many of which 
are evidently filled with an oily fluid. The flowers are 
small, and appear in very short, axillary, fascicled racemes ; 
their colour has probably been white. The calyx is fleshy and 
superior, with the limb falling off" like a lid, and leaving a sue- 
culent dilated border behind ; it adheres firmly to the ovarium 
on all sides, and when the lid has fallen, which happens at an 
early stage, resembles a truncated calyx ; the coat of the tube 
distinctly abounds with receptacles of oil. The petals are four, 
lanceolate, acuminate, fleshy, involute at the apex, and hav- 
ing a twisted aestivation ; they are inserted on the outside of a 
flat or concave fleshy disk, which occupies the summit of the 
ovarium. The stamens are eight, inserted in a single row on 
the outside of this same disk ; their filaments are ligulate ; 
their anthers in aestivation inflexed, ovate, acute, with two 
parallel cells communicating by a single pore at the apex, and 
having at their base two subulate, falcate spurs, or appendages; 
when the flower is expanded, the anthers acquire an erect po- 
sition, and their lobes, which were before turned outwards, have 
an inward direction, The ovarium is inseparably connected 

122 Mr. Lindley on Diplogenea, 

with the calyx np to the point where it is covered by a flat or 
slightly concave fleshy disk ; it apparently contains four cells, 
with numerous minute ovula attached to placentae in the axis. 
The style is falcate, and thickened upwards ; the stigma is a 
simple point. Of the fruit nothing is known. 

It will have been already remarked that in many particulars 
this genus exhibits the common structure of Melastomaceae, 
and that in fact it is very nearly related to, if not identical with, 
Conostegia. But there is a remarkable peculiarity in Diplo- 
genea, which renders it impossible to associate it with any known 
genus of Melastomacere. This consists in the presence of re- 
ceptacles of oil lying under the cuticle among the parenchyma, 
a character which it has been hitherto supposed that no Me- 
lastomaceous genus possesses, and which has been always em- 
ployed as one of the chief distinctions of Myrtaceae. I do 
not, however, think that the degree in which these receptacles 
exist in the genus under consideration will much invalidate the 
character of Myrtaceae, because they are in too rudimentary a 
state to be actually identified with the transparent cells of that 
order ; all that I wish to show is, that an evident tendency to 
produce oily secretions exists in Melastomacese, a tribe in 
which no such tendency has been before noticed. 

In the absence of fruit, the characters of this genus can be 
only imperfectly traced ; but the following will be sufficient to 
distinguish it from all that have been previously described. 
Nat. ord. Melastomacecu ; C onostegiae proxima. 

Calyx superus, limbo calyptriformi conico deciduo. Petala 4, lanceo- 
lata, in margine disci carnosi ovarium tegentis inserta. Stamina 8, circa 
discum inserta ; antheris ovatis, basi bicalcaratis, poro apicis dehiscen- 
tibus. Ovarium calyci oranino accretum, 4-lociilare, polyspermum, disco 
magno carnoso coronatum. Stylus falcatus, clavatus. Stigma simplex. 

Frutex parasiticus ? glaberrimus (Madagascariensis). Rami carnosi, 

dichotomi,junioribus compressis, Visciferl habitu. Folia oblonga,retusa, 
tarnosa, triplicostata, avenia, receptaculis olei intra parenchyma latefi" 
tibus. Flores albi 9 parvi, in racemis brevibus, axillaribus dispositi, 
Calycis tubus receptaculis olei repletus. 

1. D. viscoides. 
Ad portum Sae. Marise, Insulse Madagascarise, legit Johannes Forbes. 
iv. s, sp, herb. Soc. Hort, LondO 


A Dissertation on the JVature and Properties of the Malvern 
Water, and an Enquiry into the Causes and Treatment of 
Scrofulous Diseases and Consumption, together with some 
remarks upon the Influence of the Terrestrial Radiation of 
Caloric upon local salubrity. By W. Addison, Surgeon, 

Malvern has for a long period been justly celebrated for its 
pure and invigorating air, the excellence of its water, and the 
romantic beauty of its scenery. Dr. Wall^ who wrote some 
years since a small work upon the efficacy of the Malvern 
Waters in many diseases, speaks highly of the benefits expe- 
rienced from a residence at Malvern in scrofulous, nephritic, 
and many other complaints. Mr. Addison's work is scientific 
and ingenious ; he attributes the many extraordinary recoveries 
which have occurred at Malvern, partly to the salubrity of the 
air, and partly to the purity of the water, which, from the analysis 
he has given of it, seems to contain much less saline or earthy 
matter than any we are acquainted with ; and we think he has 
laboured, with considerable success, to prove that the continued 
use of a pure water may be a powerful means of removing and 
preventing many chronic disorders ; his views of the causes of 
scrofulous diseases, — the circumstances which determine their 
seat or situation, — and the measures calculated to counteract 
a tendency to them are in our opinion, extremely creditable to 
his professional ability. The work contains many clear state- 
ments, with some accurate reasoning, which we can with confi- 
dence recommend to our readers. The last section treats upon 
a subject altogether new in medical science, though the facts 
to which Mr. Addison refers have been long known to the cul- 
tivators of chemistry. That the radiation of caloric from the 
earth will have a very great influence in the production of va- 
rious diseases we are certainly much inclined to admit, and we 
feel induced also to believe, with our author, that the activity of 
malaria may very much depend upon this process. The re- 
marks and observations which Mr. Addison has made upon dis- 
eases as they appear in tropical climates, certainly furnish a 
powerful statement in favour of the views he has taken. We 
earnestly recommend this subject to the profession of which Mr. 
Addison is a member; the conclusions he has djawn are, that all 
those places where the radiation of caloric goes on with rapidity, 
will oe found subject to great vicissitudes of temperature, to 
fogs, heavy dews, and other noxious precipitations from the air, 
tvhereby they are rendered cold, damp, and oftentimes extremely 
unhealthy, while, cseteris paribus, those situations where the 

124 Mr. Meikle on the 

terrestrial radiation is diminished willhe projwrtionally warmer ^ 
drier, of a more equable temperature, and more healthy. 

We have been given to understand that this enquiry will be 
resumed by our author in a paper, which will shortly appear in 
one of the scientific periodicals. 

On Mr. Ivory's Investigations of the Velocity of Sound. 
By Henry Meikle. 

In the article on sound inserted in the Edin. Phil. Jour, for 
October, 1827, I had acquiesced in the theory of the late cele- 
brated Marquis Laplace, so far as it appeared to go, and only 
suggested some small additions to it. But since writing that 
article, I have examined more closely the investigation of that 
eminent mathematician, given in the Conn, des Tems pour 
I'an 1825, and Mecanique Cdeste, torn. v. page 119, and am 
now convinced that it is in itself objectionable in several re- 
spects, independently of any thing which I formerly hinted : 
so that my proposed amendments on this theory are as nothing 
compared with the thorough reform it would require ; the 
result being neither deduced from correct principles, nor by 
means of an accurately managed calculus. The like objec- 
tions attach to Mr. Ivory's view of it, given in the Phil, 
Mag. for July, 1825, p. 11. To this I shall principally 
direct my remarks at present, because it is better known 
in this country, and is given in a more detached form than that 
of M. Laplace, which, though essentially the same, and, in 
fact, the groundwork of the other, is curiously interwoven with 
some untenable speculations regarding heat*. 

Considerable obscurity pervades Mr. Ivory's investigation, 
especially in laying down the first principles, which are both 
inconsistent and defective. Several of the most important 
circumstances are overlooked altogether ; but, as will be seen 
from extracts which soon follow, the leading idea by which the 

* In the Conn, des Terns for 1826, M. Poisson has treated the subject 
in a more general way, with the view of embracing cases where the me- 
dium is not uniform. The length of his Memoir would render it tedious 
fully to discuss its merits; but, so far as regards the ordinary case of 
sound traversing the horizon, it is not materially different from that about 
tp be examined. 

Velocity of Sounds 12Sf 

process is meant to be regulated is briefly this : — A minute 
cylinder of air, whose length varies without either changing its 
mass or diameter, is supposed to be acted on by an accelerating 
force, till it move over a small space z, and then abandoned 
to move uniformly with the velocity so acquired along a straight 
line a?*. This latter motion is intended to represent that of 
sound, and its velocity is assumed, without either proof or pro- 
bability, to be always the same, and, consequently, without 
either decrease or end, in air of the like density and pressure. 
It is further supposed, that the cylinder always moves over a 
space equal to its own length during the constant fluxion of 
time dr, and that it does so whether in passing over z or x. 

Now without enlarging on the faint enough resemblance 
between this leading idea and the propagation of sound, it may 
be observed, before entering on further particulars, that either 
the space z, no matter how small, must be always of the same 
magnitude, and therefore the intensity or loudness of sound 
always the same in air of the like condition, which is contrary 
to universal observation ; or else, the accelerating force must 
be everywhere inversely proportional to the space z. Without 
some condition of this nature, the final velocity with which the 
cylinder is projected, or the velocity of sound, cannot, as our 

* This notion seems, in the first instance, to be borrowed from that 
usually given in elementary books on mechanics ; where it is, in effect, 
shown that if a series of equal and perfectly elastic bodies, such as cy- 
linders, be placed contiguous, having their axes in a straight line ; and if 
an impulse be given to either extreme cylinder, it will communicate an 
equal impulse to the next, and this to the next, &c., till the whole series 
be run over. But to this is joined the assumption, that the velocity with 
which the impulse is propagated along the series is the same as the velo- 
city of the first cylinder would have been, if alone, or projected by itself, — 
a coincidence for which I know no reason, nor can I believe it to be pos- 
sible. But admitting it were true, since, as we shall presently see, the 
velocity of the projected cylinder must be proportional to the projecting 
force, how does this consist with the rate of propagation being likewise 
assumed to be ever the same in the same state of the medium ? Some, 
perhaps, could tell us that the series of cylinders propagate the impulse, 
as if they were so many isochronous pendulums ; but where is the proof? 
and I may again ask, how such a determinate velocity of sound can be 
aptly represented by the precarious velocity with which the cylinder may 
be projected ? For, at all events, the calculus is conducted with reference 
to a projected cylinder. But supposing the investigation were to relate 
only to " the vibrations of a line of air," it would not be less objectionable ; 
as, for instance, what could we make of the curious absurdity, to be 
shortly noticed, of the small cylinders of air being compressed till ?w/?- 
nitely dense, at the tiurn of each vibration ? 

126 Mr. Meikle on the 

author assumes, be always the same in the same medium. For, 
to attain the same final velocity, the circumstances must be 
similar to those of a weight descending an inclined plane of a 
given height ; where, abstracting from friction or other resis- 
tance, the accelerating force is inversely as the plane's length. 
But, in the case before us, the law of the force accelerating the 
cyhnder must be of a very opposite description 5 for, as we 
shall afterwards see, in order that the velocity of sound, as de- 
duced by this sort of investigation, may be independent of the 
intensity, or of the degree of condensation, the elasticity of the 
air would require to be either independent of, or to vary in- 
versely as, the density, which are alike absurd ; but here the 
elasticity is supposed to vary directly as the | power of the 

That the above are not the only serious charges which may 
be brought against Mr. Ivory's investigation, will appear from 
the following extracts ; to which I shall subjoin some remarks, 
for the purpose of pointing out a few more of the tacit assump- 
tions and undefined steps, which are not unfrequent, and for 
setting their merits and mutual relations, which are sometimes 
curious, in a proper point of view : — 

'• Conceive a slender horizontal tube of an indefinite length, 
containing air in a state of equilibrium ; and let x, reckoned from 
a fixed point in the axis of the tube, be the distance of a small 
cylinder of air within the tube, the thickness (length) of which 
is equal to dx. Suppose now that the cylinder is pushed forward 
by some force to the distance x+z from the fixed point, and 
that it occupies the length dx+dz in the axis*. It is to be 

* It is not, however, this movement of the cylinder over the space z 
that is considered in the sequel of the investigation ; but its retracing of it 
occasioned by the natural tendency of the air to regain its equilibrium, 
and which accelerates the cylinder back over the space z towards the 
assumed point from which the distance x + z was reckoned. A concus- 
sion or tremor is thus produced in the air, and propagated from atom to 
atom along the line x ; and it is conceived that this tremor or sound moves 
uniformly along x with the velocity, whatever that be, which the cylinder 
has acquired during its acceleration over the line z. This supposed uniform 
velocity of the cylinder projected along x is further conceived to be the same 
with the velocity it happens to have, whenever its density equals the mean 
actual density of the medium. If so, how does this consist with the well 
known fact, that the series of aerial vibrations conducting sound through 
the atmosphere always get feebler and feebler as they become more distant 

Velocity of Sound, 127 

observed that dx is invariably of the same magnitude, whatever 
be the position of the small cylinder of air, and that dz alone 
varies in different places of the tube, and at different times. 
It follows, therefore, that x is independent on the time t, and z 
is a function of x and t. It is to be observed too, that the air 
is supposed to undergo very small condensations and rarefac- 
tions in proportion to its original bulk in the state of equili- 
brium ; that is, dz must be considered as very small when 
compared to dx*. Let §' denote the density of the air in equU 

from the sonorous body, and, consequently, the velocities of the atoms 
slower and slower at those similar points of their vibrations in which the 
densities of the cylinders become equal to the mean density of the me- 
dium ? But ample reason may be given for the fundamental fact just 
stated, though Mr. Ivory has entirely overlooked both it and the reason. 
For admitting that the motion of the cylinder were, as he assumes, uni- 
form in a tube, yet in the free air, sound is sent off as from a radiant 
point, in every open direction not opposed to the wind. Nay, sound 
reaches many a place by a curvilinear rout, even without being reflected. 
It is therefore plain, that the area of each wave or spherical shell of air, to 
which the tremor is communicated in succession, will increase as fast, at 
least, as the square of its radius, or of its distance from the radiant point. 
In other words, the number of atoms or the mass to be successively set 
in motion will, supposing the medium uniform, increase as fast, at least 
as the square of its distance from the sonorous body. This is a very dif- 
ferent thing from saying off hand, that ** the cylinder in motion has always 
the same mass." Hence, as might easily be shown from known princi- 
ples, the motion of sound computed on projectile principles, instead of 
being uniform, ought to decrease as fast, at least, as the reciprocal of the 
distance from its source decreases. 

Sir Isaac Newton's view of the subject is incomparably more consistent 
than the one before us. He supposed all the vibrations in the same uni- 
form medium to be isochronous, or performed in equal times, however 
different their lengths, and, consequently, however different the velocities 
of the atoms at like points of their vibrations. Indeed, it is easy to see 
that there is no way in which the velocity of sound could be uniform, but 
by the vibrations, however different in length, being isochronous. New- 
ton, and his earlier followers, were well aware of this circumstance ; but 
vibrations of different lengths are quite at variance with, and cannot enter 
as an element into, the refined mode of viewing sound under the emblem of 
a projected cylinder, going on for ever, as the theory implies, without 
either decrease of velocity or of loudness. There is, however, no reason 
to think that every conceivable or possible law of elasticity in air would 
give isochronous vibrations ; nor am I aware that such has been proved, 
from legitimate theoretical principles, to hold of even one particular 
law, far less of that which belongs to the atmosphere. — H. M. 

* It would be difficult to reconcile almost any of these remarks either 
with each other, or with the very opposite principles acted on in the rest 
of this research. As, for instance, by strictly following up the leading 
principles of the investigation, it appears that dz, instead of being incom- 
parably smaller than dx^ must occasionally equal it \ and that the con- 

128 Mr. Meikle on the 

librio, and § the variable density of the agitated cylinder ; then, 
the masses of the two cylinders being the same, their densities 
will be reciprocally as the volumes : therefore 

P — c?a? ^ ^ ^ dz 
p' dx+dz dx* 

the powers of the small fraction -- being rejected*. This equa- 
tion, it may be remarked, implies the continuityof the fluid f, 
since the cylinder in motion has always the same mass. Let P' 
denote the elastic force of the air in equilibrio, and P the like 
force of the agitated cylinder ; then, if we adopt the law of Boyle 

and Mariotte, we shall have -r-; = — ,- : and this equation 

would lead us to the result obtained by Newton J. But if, 
according to the observation of Laplace, we reason more 

densation, in place of being trifling, must be infinite. For, here the length 
of the cylinder is dx + dz, which binomial is likewise used as the fluxion 
oi z ; no matter how curious and undefined the notation, which Laplace, 
however, avoids. But when the cylinder reaches its utmost distance from 
the assumed point from which x -^ z\s reckoned, and is about to return 
toward that point, its velocity = ; and, therefore, the fluxion of the 
space = dx + dz = 0, and dx = — dz. Or, more properly, dx—dz = 0, 
and dx' = dz. For in this case, the fluxion of the space, or the length of 
the cylinder, is obviously the difference and not the sum of dic and dz^ 
because dx is constant. Hence, also, at the turn of the motion, the length 
of the cylinder is nothing, or its density is infinite ; a consequence, though 
absurd, yet inseparable from the tacit hypothesis which makes the cylin- 
der always move over a space equal to its own length, during.the constant 
fluxion of time dr. It is therefore certain, that the length of the cylin- 
der cannot consistently represent its velocity, or coincide with the fluxion 
of the space, as our author so conveniently assumes it to do, without 
offering the least reason for such illegitimate procedure. It is almost 
needless to add that the same assumption involves various other incon- 
sistencies, or to remark that the shattering of windows and crazy build- 
ings, the shaking of houses at considerable distances, the occasional 
deafening of persons, with many similar effects, could neither be pro- 
duced by small vibrations, nor slight condensations ; though infinite ones 
would be unnecessary. — H. M, 

* Since, as we have seen, dz sometimes equals dx, this fraction is 
occasionally considerable, or even equal to unit ; and, therefore, its powers 
cannot warrantably be rejected, either here, or again a little after in 
taking the fluxions. — H. M. 

']' True, a continuity, but only in one direction through the tube | 
whereas, in the open air, the continuity is in all directions. — H. M, 

% We shall afterwards see this to be a mistake. — H. M. 

Velocity of Sound. 129 

agreeably to what actually takes place in nature, and suppose 
that the elastic force of the agitated cylinder is exerted while 
it retains the whole of its absolute heat, the preceding formulge 
(D) * will furnish this equation, 

P' \ / J dxJ 3 ' dx 

Take the fluxions making x only variable |, and divide by the 
equal quantities § (dx-\-dz) and ^'dx ; then 

rfP ~ - i_ £1 _^ 

p idx + dz) 3 ' ^' ' dx^ * 

Now, P is the elastic force of the air in the tube at the dis- 
tance x+z from the assumed point in the axis, and F+dP is 
the like force of the air at the distance x+z+dx+dz ; wherefore 
dP is the effective force urging the intervening cylinder towards 
the assumed point: and as the mass moved is equal to § (dx+dz), 

♦ The formulae referred to make the cube of the pressure vary as the 
fourth power of the density, which I consider to be the true law, though 
Mr. Ivory has since renounced it as incorrect, without giving any ad- 
missible reason ; but when he adopted this ratio, in the place from which 
he now quotes it, he did so for an erroneous reason, as I have hinted in 
the Edin. Phil. Jour, for January, ] 827. However, I do not think such 
a ratio applicable to the investigation of the velocity of sound, especially 
in the supposititious case of the tube before us. For though, in favourable 
circumstances, sound be propagated in every open direction from the. 
sonorous body, yet it does not appear that the air acts there exactly in its 
fluid character. Because sound which first passes through the tube, and 
then into the open air, does not proceed from the mouth of the tube, as 
from a sonorous body, in every direction, which it would do if the particles 
acted on each other with equal force in every direction. On the contrary, 
sound, as is well known, diverges but in a small degi-ee after quitting a 
long tube which merely conducts it ; and I rather doubt if it would di- 
verge at all, were it not for the friction or resistance which the vibrating 
particles suffer from their contact with air which is not in the direction of 
the tube. From this we should be led to infer, that the particles of air 
conveying sound through a narrow tube, es])ecially the ideal one free 
from friction, only vibrate in the direction of the axis. If so, the elasticity 
of air conducting sound through the tube should not be estimated accord- 
ing to the above law, but more nearly as in the inverse ratio of the 
squares of the variable longitudinal dimensions ; because, as I have 
shown on a former occasion, the particles of air repel each other with 
forces inversely as the squares of their distances. But we have already 
seen that the actual case of the atmosphere is totally different from that 
ofthetube.— H. M. 

t This is a curious injunction, more likely to embarrass and mislead 
the reader than any thing else ; for the equation in hand does not involve 
A' at all ; and, besides, Mr. Ivory, in the face of this strict precept, makes 
both P and dz variable. — H. M. 

JULY— SEPT. 1828. K 

130 Mr. Meikle on the 

the quotient is the acceleration of each particle, otherwise ex- 
pressed by — -— ^ * ; wherefore 

ddz -_ j£ F ddz_ „ 
dT2 3 * y ' dx"- 

Were every thing correct about this equation and the mode 
by which Mr. Ivory has obtained it, the velocity would obvi- 
ously, as he in effect states it, be 

dx __ /Ip'" 

and since both dx and dr are constant, the velocity would be 
uniform, and always the same in air of the same density and 
pressure. But another notable error and inconsistency have 
here evaded notice, by the manoeuvre of twice rejecting the 
higher powers of dz^ seemingly for the purpose of rendering the 
calculus manageable, though, as we shall presently see, there 
was no call or necessity for it on that account. Whether M. 
Laplace or Mr. Ivory were aware of this circumstance, I could 
not pretend to say ; but one thing is certain, that further de- 
fects of the investigation become sufficiently apparent, when 
none of these powers have been discarded. For in this way 
we have 

Z. = ( dx \ 

F \ dx+dz ) 


* Viz. one of the usual differential expressions for an accelerating force. 
The second fluxion of the space being ddz, and the undefined symbol dr 
denoting the constant fluxion of the time. It is from this step that it 
becomes more particularly obvious that the length of the cylinder is a 
measure of its velocity, being always equal to the minute space described 
during the constant moment of time dr. Not the shadow of a reason is 
either given or supposed necessary to assign why the length of the cylin- 
der should not rather have had some other relation to its velocity than 
that just mentioned, which we have already seen to be impossible. But 
the gratuitous assumptions in this investigation are so numerous and im- 
portant that they would have rendered it null and void as a mathematical 
production, although no inconsistency had presented itself. For were 
such assumptions to be tolerated in mathematics, there is no problem, 
however difficult, but they could solve with the utmost facility. A curious 
instance of their irresistible powers is noticed in the Phil. Mag. for Dec. 
1822, where I have shown that the demonstration which Mr. Ivory sup- 
posed he had given of Euclid's 12th Axiom, in the number for March 
preceding, owes all its virtue to an assumption fully equivalent to tliQ 
axiom itself, which was the very point to be proved !— H, M. 

Velocity of Sound. 131 

Take the fluxions, making dx and F constant, which gives 

ff£ = - 1 f ^^ ^T V ^ = - ± (l-Y X — 
P' 3 Vdr+rfz J dx 3 \p' J dx' 

Multiply by F and divide by § (c^x+cZa:) = q'dxy as before, and 
we have 

Hence the velocity of sound should be 

t- (jrY X v/(f ) 

which, though a very different expression from the former, is 

uniform or independent of the degree of condensation, because 

dx and dr are constant ; and yet it is affected by the intensity 

or degree of condensation, because g is so affected. 

We have thus, even when working more correctly, obtained 

a result which is evidently contradictory or absurd. Nor can 

it be admitted as an excuse, to say, that § and §' are nearly 

equal ; for we have already seen that the principles acted on in 

this investigation imply that p may exceed p' in any proportion, 


By using unit for the index of , we do not, when 

•' ^ dx+dz 

nothing is omitted, obtain Newton's result, as Mr. Ivory alleges, 
but the very different expression 

which is just as absurd as the other. Indeed, when in this mode 
of investigation, none of the powers of dz have been rejected, 
the velocity can never come out uniform or independent of the 
degree of condensation, and be at the same time real or possi- 
ble. For, taking the only two supposable cases, — were the 
index = 0, neither the elasticity of air, nor sound, which de- 
pends on it, could exist; and were the index = — 1, the 
elasticity would vary inversely as the density, which is a perfect 
contradiction, not to mention that the velocity of sound would 
come out an impossible quantity. 

Any further evidence would be superfluous to show that this 
sort of investigation is not only inefficient, but full of error 
and incongruity, view it which way we will ; and that it will be 


132 Mr. Meikle on the 

alike unfortunate for this theory whether the motion of sound 
ultimately turn out, from experiment, to be uniform or retarded ; 
for, independently of that, the result is anything but a fair 
logical deduction from correct data. I have as yet confined 
my remarks to Mr. Ivory's investigation in the Phil. Mag. for 
July, 1825. His other solution grafted on it, and given in that 
Journal for April 1827, is one way or other liable to all the 
abovementioned objections. The difference between his two 
solutions is owing to the innovations of his new law of con- 
densation — an extraordinary production — the result of at least 
seven years' researches on the subject *. So far, however, 
from its being the lie plus ultra of science, as we should have 
reasonably expected, and as its author has more than once 
hinted, I doubt if, in point of absurdity, the like has been put 
on record since the dark ages. A few cases, where it leads to 
most erroneous results, are noticed in the Edin. Phil. Jour. 
for April, 1827 ; and I shall now state the law briefly, with an 
example or two of its unparalleled absurdity. 

Let r be the temperature on Fahrenheit's scale of an air- 
thermometer, when a mass of air begins to undergo a change 
of density ; and § the quotient obtained by dividing the density 
at the end of the operation by that at the beginning. Then, 
according to Mr. Ivory, the change of temperature due to such 
change of density is 

i - A (448° + t) X ^^. 

8 p 

Among the many extravagant and contradictory conclusions 
to which this new law leads, there is an obvious one notoriously 
at variance with observation, — that no compression could raise 
the temperature of air from the freezing to the boiling point of 
water ; for, the greatest number we can substitute for §, will 
always bring out i less than 180°, with r =i 32°. Hence, were 
all the air which invests our globe condensed into a point, its 

* During the long period in which Mr. Ivory wrote on this subject, it 
is curious to observe that, thous^h he is always right, and every one else 
wrong, he is incessantly changing his creed without giving the reason. 
Accordingly, this new law of condensation comes forth in February, 1827, 
without the least hint that the law of July 1825, was either repealed, or 
had ever existed. 

Velocity of Sound, 133 

temperature could not be thereby raised from 32*^ to 212° ; nor 
could the ignition of tinder be caused by the heat evolved from 
air on its being condensed. 

But though such results be out of all shape, yet the law now 
stated is, if possible, still more at variance with itself than with 
facts ; for we soon obtain a very different result, by taking the 
condensation at several successive steps. Thus, by doubUng 
the density of air at 32° Fah., or putting t = 32° and g = 2, 
we obtain i = 90°, which raises the temperature to 122°, 
Doubling again the density with t = 122° and § = 2, we get 
i = 106°.875. The density has thus been only quadrupled, 
and yet the rise of temperature, viz. 90° + 106°.875 =: 
196°.875, exceeds the rise due to compressing all the air of the 
atmosphere into a point, at one operation *. I may remark, 
by the bye, that so far as is yet known, an elastic fluid cannot 
be liquefied by condensation, if it lose no heat. 

If the air, which, by having its density quadrupled, has 
attained the temperature of 228°.88, be now restored to its 
original density, ought it not to be, in every other respect, re- 
stored to its former state ? and, in particular, if it have neither 
gained nor lost heat, ought it not to resume its original tempe- 
rature of 32° ? So far, however, from this being the case^ we 
shall find that by restoring the original density, the resulting 
temperature will be lower than 32° by the enormous quantity 

of 564°.6. Thus, putting r = 228°.88 and /? = -^ , (for the 

law being general, must suit any initial temperature or den- 
sity,) we obtain i = — 76I°.48. Hence, in place of 32°, the 
resulting temperature is 228°.88 - 761° 48 = — 532°.6 Fah., 
or 84°.6 below the absolute zero of those who, with Mr. Ivor}^, 
insist on an air-thermometer being the standard ! 

What a striking contrast between such absurdities and the 
following formula, in which not the slightest inconsistency can 
be detected, viz. 

i = (448° + t) (p^ - 1). 

* It is obvious that we may proceed in strict conformity to this law, and 
yet vary the result considerably ; nay, in some cases, enormously, at 
pleasure, according to the number or magnitude of the parts into which 
we subdivide the whole change of density as taking place at successive steps, 

134 Mr. Meikle on the 

This Mr. Ivory has rejected, without showing cause why. Most 
probably he did not Hke it after it was well known not to be 
his own production, and especially after I had advanced so 
much in its favour. Except the index of 5, it is M. Poisson's 
formula. The reasons why that index should be ^ are given ia 
Edin. New Phil. Jour. vol. ii. 333, 391, and iv. 101. 

I formerly remarked that the notes of music afforded no 
satisfactory proof that sounds of all intensities are propagated 
with equal velocities. Another alleged proof, apparently of 
more weight, has been drawn from the experiments made in 
France in 1822 ; where the velocity of sound appeared to be 
the same, whether the guns were charged with two or with three 
pounds of powder. When, however, as was the case there, the 
powder has almost nothing to propel, a considerable proportion 
of it escapes without catching fire, and so much the more as 
the charge in the same size of gun is greater : so that the re- 
ports from the two and the three pounds of powder, might not 
differ materially in sharpness. Nor can I attach any stress to 
equal or uniform velocities deduced from hypothetical data ; 
for we have seen that one of the most natural and obvious in- 
ferences from the projectile theory just discussed, is that the 
velocity ought to decrease rapidly ; which is curious enough 
when we recollect that those who follow this mode of investi- 
gation assume, without hesitation, that it accords with a uni- 
form velocity. No solution of the problem can be legitimate, 
if it take for granted an element so important, but so dubious, 
as uniformity of velocity, — an element which, I presume, can 
only be settled by experiment. For, I think it will be found 
that in solutions of this problem, the uniformity of the propa- 
gation of sound, or its independence of intensity, is, at best, 
assumed, or not provided for. In some cases, as we have 
seen, it may be got over quietly by inaccurate working ; by re- 
peatedly rejecting terms from the calculus, without giving any 
good reason, or showing that such terms could not have influ- 
enced the result. 

If the velocity of sound be really greater when it is more in- 
tense, then all attempts to bring out a legitimate and definite 
mathematical result must necessarily prove abortive ; because 
the intensity, being of an indeterminate character, cannot^ as 

Velocity of Sound, ]8§ 

the supposed case would require, be made the basis of mathe* 
matical investigation. The great Euler, to whose sagacity we 
owe so much, was of opinion that the motion of sound is 
affected by its intensity. Lagrange, however, thought it easy 
to show, from theory, that this could not be the case. But, 
besides the particulars noticed in the present article, the cir- 
cumstance, which I formerly mentioned, of wind exercising 
such an absolute control over the intensity of sound, and which 
our refined theories do not recognise, sufficiently shows how 
little confidence is due to theory in any such matters. The 
excess of the velocity of sound, aided by a very faint breeze, 
while passing from Montlhery to Villejuif, on the 22d June, 
1822, over its motion on the preceding day, rather favours the 
opinion that wind adds more than its own motion to that of 
sound. Further experiments are, however, wanted to decide 
this point. 

Description of a Regulating Valve for a Gas Establishment, 

10] t Mount- Street , Grosvenor- Square, 
Sir, August 2dth,] 828. 

The continued and increasing employment of gas, as a 
source of artificial light, confers a value upon every means 
which renders its distribution more convenient and economical. 
As the consumption of gas, during the night is variable, it is 
desirable that the pressure at the gas-station should be regu- 
lated according to the demand. I have obtained from Mr. 
Eastwick (the very intelligent engineer of the Bath gas works) 
a description of a valve which enables him to adjust the flow of 
gas into the " main," so as to ensure an economical, yet suffi- 
cient, supply to the burners at the different periods of the night. 
If you think it deserving a place in your Journal of Science, 
it is much at your service : I therefore enclose it for your ap- 

I am, Sir, yours, truly, 

R. Addams. 
To IF, T. Brande, Esq. 

« Sir, " Gas Works, Bath, June 1st, 1828. 

'• Agreeably with your request, I send you a drawing of 
the index of a regulating valve, which I placed on the eight- 

136 Regulating Valve for a Gas Estahlishmmt. 

inch main pipe leading from these works last summer, and 
which I had the pleasure of showing to you when you were in 
Bath in January last. 

" The valve consists of a circular plate of metal, nine inches 
in diameter, sliding over the mouth of the main pipe, in a 
chamber. The face of the index is a representation of the valve 
itself; so made in order that the superintendent may know the 
precise position of the valve at any time. 

'* The black disc A is a thin plate of metal attached to a rod 
coming up from the valve behind the index frame, in which 
there is a slit for the pin which carries the index to pass. \ The 
portion of the circle B, which is uncovered by the disc, repre- 
sents the aperture, or gas-way into the main pipe. D is a 
pressure gauge connected with the main on the gasometer side 

Regulating Valve for d Gas Establishment. 137 

of the valve, and C, another pressure gauge, also connected 
with the main on the town side. 

" There is a burner, supplied from the town side of the valve, 
placed before the eye of the person who adjusts the valve. 

'• From repeated inspection of the town lights at all hours 
of the night, as well as of the burner before the index, the re- 
quisite pressure is known and regulated ; as the night advances, 
the valve is lowered more and more, and in the morning (when 
the lamps ought to be all out) it is depressed to one-tenth 
of an inch ; that being sufficient to cause the exit of the gas in 
the lowest situations. 

*^ The operation of the valve is so well understood, that I 
have been enabled to leave the management of it to the work- 
men ever since its erection. 

*' By this simple, yet effectual, contrivance, the saving of 
gas has been very great. 

, *' I have never had occasion to elevate the valve more than 
-j2^*(jths*, as shown in the drawing, this being sufficient for the 
escape of upwards of 7000 cubic feet of gas per hour, without 
the pressure of the gas being reduced more than -ji^th of an 
inch, (viz. from one inch to -j-yhs after it has passed the valve.) 

'^ I believe you are aware that, from the nature of the coal 
used at this establishment, the retorts, after much use, become 
lined with a hard carbonaceous substance, of so considerable 
a thickness, as to diminish their capacity to one half and less, 
on Avhich account a larger number of retorts u'as required ; and 
from the imperfect conducting power of this incrustation, the 
decomposing process was slower, and additionally expensive. 
I am happy to inform you, that I have perfectly succeeded in 
removing the incrust in the following way : the retorts are left 
open, and kept at a good heat, by which the carbonaceous 
lining undergoes slow combustion, and in the course of a week, 
or more, according to the thickness, it is entirely burnt away. 
^' Believe me to be. Sir, 

" Very respectfully yours, 

" W. H. Eastwick." 
'* To R. AddamSy Esq" 

t When the area of thelunaric aperture is]= 14.733 square inches. R. A, 


Transactions of the Horticultural Society, Vol. vii. Part II. 
4to. London, 1828. 

[Continued from No. III. p. 175.] 

The following are the principal contents of this Number, which 
is illustrated by four copper-plates, two of which are coloured, 
and many wood engravings. 

XXIV. Account of a Mode of managing Peach Trees in an early 
Peach House. By Mr. Walter Henderson. 

Of all the fruits that are forced into bearing at unseasonable 
periods, the peach is one of the most delicate, and which re- 
quires the greatest care and good management. Mr. Hen- 
derson, who has the reputation of being unusually successful, 
states, that the mode of treatment he adopts is the following : — 

The trees are trained on trellis-work at a short distance trpm 
the glass ; the house is warmed by a single flue running along 
the middle of the house ; and by a pit between the flue and back 
wall, filled with decayed leaves, which are continually impart- 
ing moisture to the atmosphere. 

The house is shut up about the first of December, and either 
gently warmed by fire, or not, according to the state of the 
weather. As soon as the buds swell, as much as possible of the 
wood that bore the previous season is cut away, and the younger 
shoots are tied into their places ; not having previously been 
interfered with, but allowed to grow wild. The best shoots being 
selected, they are shortened according to their strength, care 
being taken always to cut them down to a leaf hud. The 
shoots are eventually laid in at the distance of from six to 
nine inches, and a great number of flower-buds are rubbed off", 
the strongest only being allowed to expand. As soon as the 
peaches are set, their leaves are gently sprinkled in the fore- 
noon with water, once in every six or seven days ; about the 
middle of March they are sprinkled in the afternoon. By this 
time the trees are producing the new shoots which are to bear 
a crop in the succeeding year : these are reduced in number by 
thinning and rubbing off", none being preserved except where 
there is room for them ; such as are left are not tied down, but 
allowed to grow in their natural way, by which means the 
shoots on which the fruit is growing are not disturbed. As the 
season advances, the trees are sprinkled twice each week be- 
tween four and five in the afternoon ; this, however, is only 
done in warm, sunny weather. About a fortnight after the 
young peaches have stoned, the sprinkling is stopped, much 

Transactions of the Horticultural Society, 139 

more air is given to the house, and no fire-heat is maintained 
during the day ; but if the weather is dark or wet, a httle fire 
is applied at night ; if the weather is warm and dry, the house 
is exposed to the air all night without fire-heat. By this ma- 
nagement, the peaches acquire the unusual weight of half a pound 
each, and occasionally even that of ten ounces. The trees 
submitted to this treatment have undergone the same process 
for twenty-seven successive years, and are still in good health. 

XXV. Remarks upon the Comparative Advantages of Grafting Pears 

upon Quince Stocks. By Mr. Thomas Torbron. 

It is a well known law in vegetable physiology, that in propor^ 
tion as leaf-buds, or as Darwin called them, viviparous buds, 
are produced by plants, flowers, or oviparous buds, cease to be 
developed, and vice versa. Hence it is obvious, that whatever 
has a tendency to check the former, and favour the produc- 
tion of the latter, is beneficial to gardeners. Practice has shown 
that, by grafting fruit trees upon one kind of stock, the ten- 
dency to produce leaf-buds is increased, and that other stocks 
exercise a contrary influence. Gardeners in this country have 
long been well aware how to apply these facts to the cultivation 
of the apple, but they are little acquainted with the influence 
of the stock upon other kinds of fruits. The object of the 
writer of this paper is to show the benefit of grafting pears upon 
the quince-stock, instead of upon their own species. He states 
that the increase of produce by that means is on the average 
as 7.6 to 1 in favour of the quince ; and in one case he found 
it as 15.1 to 1. Pears grafted upon the quince have also the 
merit of not occupying so much space as others ; but it is to be 
doubted whether they be as long lived. 

XXVI. Description, with Plans, of a Hot-wall. By Mr. John Hay. 

Without the aid of heated walls, our friends in the North would 
have little chance of raising many of the good things in their 
gardens, which are produced with us by the climate alone. To 
them, we doubt not, these plans will be highly useful. They 
cannot well be explained without figures ; we must, therefore, 
refer such of our readers as are interested in the matter, to the 
work itself. 

XXVII. Report upon the New or Rare Plants which flowered in the 
Garden of the Horticultural Society at Chiswick, between March, 
1825, and March, 1826. Part II. 

This is a continuation of former reports of the same nature. 
The present paper comprehends twenty-seven species, with 

140 ^ansactions of the Horticultural Society, 

numerous varieties of hardy trees and shrubs, of which thirteen 
species, and ten varieties, are new. Several are highly inter- 
esting to lovers of gardening. 

XXVIII. On the Culture of the Mango and Cherimoya. 
By Thomas Andrew Knight, Esq., F.R.S. 

Upon a consideration of the failure which has generally 
attended attempts at cultivating these plants, and the circum- 
stances under which the mango has succeeded so well in the 
garden of the Earl of Powis, Mr. Knight is led to the conclu- 
sion, that being plunged in a bark bed, or in some similar 
situation, where the roots can be kept in a constant state of 
humidity, and not exposed to the action of the air, is the 
secret which it was necessary to discover. This appears to 
Mr. Knight to be accounted for upon the principles explained 
by M. Dutrochet, in his work upon the influence of galvanism 
upon the motions of the fluids of plants; and he does not 
doubt that the ill success of his former experiments arose from 
an excessive or injurious action of electric matter upon the 
roots of his plants, owing to the exposure of the surfaces of 
the pits to the air. 

XXIX. Some Account of the Mela- Carla^ Mai- Carle, or Charles Apple. 

By John Lindley, Esq., F.R.S. 

This is an account, illustrated by a superb engraving, of a 
remarkable Italian apple, native of the territory of the Finale, 
in Liguria. By Gallesio, an Italian pomologist, it is stated to 
ripen in September, to keep well till the following spring, and 
even to remain fresh till the succeeding antnmn. In October 
it is a pale yellowish-green, covered with a bright red on one 
side, and has a breaking, sweet, high-flavoured flesh ; in No- 
vember it becomes more tender, and finally its red colour fades 
a little, its green changes to a waxy yellow, its perfume dimi- 
nishes, and its flesh becomes extremely delicate, without losing 
any part of its flavour. In short, it has no equal in beauty, 
tenderness of flesh, delicacy of flavour or fragrance. 

Whether in this country it will acquire all these good quali- 
ties, remains to be proved. A south wall in a warm, dry soil is 
recommended for it. 

XXX. A Review of Fifty Kinds of Grapes, described by Mr. Speechly 
in his Treatise on the Vine. By Mr. Joseph Thompson. 

This is a capital review of the sorts of vines described by 
Mr. Speechly in his valuable treatise. Mr. Thompson has 
charge of the garden formerly under the direction of Mr. 
Speechly, and his observations have all the weight of the be^t 
authority. They do not bear curtailment. 

Transactions of the Horticultural Society. 141 

XXXI. An Account of the Species of Calochortus, a Genus of American 

Plants. By Mr. David Douglas, A.L.S. 

Three species of this very handsome genus are described by 
Mr. Douglas, from materials collected by himself for the 
Horticultural Society ; one other is referred to, of which too 
little is known to enable it to be recorded ; and Fritillaria 
barbata of Kunth is cited as being probably a fifth species. 
The only one in the garden is C. macrocarpus, a most beau- 
tiful plant, having the habit of Tigridia, with flowers of the 
same size, but of a deep violet blue. Three species are 
figured — one from a plant that flowered in the Society's gar- 
den, and two from dried specimens. 

XXXII. An Account of some Improvement in the Construction of Hot- 

beds. By Thomas Andrew Knight, Esq., F.R.S. 

By means of a simple contrivance of wooden or other pipes, 
Mr. Knight succeeds in keeping up a constant introduction of 
fresh warm air into the atmosphere of the hot-bed ; a most 
important improvement, if we consider what the general nature 
is of the air of hot-beds. 

An Attemj)t to prove that Ava ivas the Ophir of Solomon. 
By John Ranking, Esq. 

Ophir, Aufer, Aufr, Afer *, is one of the most interesting and 
remarkable of the uncertainties in historical literature ; 

*• An ignis fatuus that bewitches. 
And leads men into pools and ditches t." 

Peru, Hispaniola, Guinea, Armenia, South Arabia, Sofala, 
Ceylon, Malacca, Sumatra, have all had their advocates. The last 
treatise is by Mr. Bruce ; who, following D'Anville and others, 
contends for Sofala: and which, says Dr. Robertson J, seems 
to establish the truth. The author of the article " Ophir" in 
Rees's Cyclopcedia does not agree with that eminent histo- 
rian ; and the writer of the dissertation in the Encyclopcsdia 
Britannica, equally in doubt, ends his remarks thus : 
Subjudice lis est. 
Bruce's laborious calculations regarding the monsoons are 

♦ So spelt by Dr. Doig. t Hudibras. % India, p. 9, 

142 An Attempt to prove that Ava 

found to be blunders * ; and he has confined the cargoes to 
gold, silver, and ivory : omitting peacocks, monkeys, precious 
stones, spices, almug-trees, and ebony. 

BufTon f insists positively that peacocks were not wild in 
Africa till they were introduced by the Portuguese, and that 
therefore Ophir could not be in Africa. Alexander the Great, 
when he entered India, is said to have been much struck with 
the beauty of the peacocks, never before having seen one J. As 
to the first five places mentioned above, there are obvious 
insuperable objections to them all. The three last have, 
neither of them, ever been known to possess such abundant 
riches and ivory as were imported by David and Solomon, 
Four hundred and fifty talents of gold have been brought by 
one fleet §. Thrones, beds, and benches were constructed 
with ivory. *' All thy garments smell of myrrh, aloes ||, and 
cassia; out of the hory palaces^. ^^ *' The houses of ivory 
shall perish **." "Whatever may be meant by palaces and 
houses, there can be no doubt that a considerable quantity of 
ivory was consumed. 

Thus it does not appear that any one of the above 
places is free from objection, as not being known to have 
produced either all the objects imported by the Jews ; nor, 
several of them, the great quantity of some of the articles 

The writer will now endeavour to prove that Ophir, or Afer, 
was no other than Ava ; and if that country has always borne 
the name, which it now does, of Ava ft, and if it has formerly 
contained, or does still contain, all the articles described as 
forming the cargoes imported, is it not quite astonishing that 
that consideration and the name have never led one of the 
host of critics to the discovery of the undisputed truth ? 

Another remarkable circumstance attending that rich mart 

♦ Rennell's Herodotus, p. ^7(j. t Sonnini's Edit. vol. xlii. 

% ^lian. § 2 Chronicles viii. 18. 

II This means the perfume ; it is produced in Ava, ** the aloexylum 
veruniy much valued for the grateful odour of its smoke." — Rees's Cyc, 
" Birraan." 

1 Psalm xlv. 8. ** Amos iii. 15. 

•M' This word may be otherwise pronounced in that country j as it is 
spelt also Aun^wan-r-^QQ Rees's Cyc, " Ava." 

was the Ophir of Solomon, 143 

of ancient times, is, that it was probably known to, and invaded 
and conquered, by landf by the Turks, not many years after 
the death of Solomon, as will be seen. 

It will now be shown that the country in question is noted 
for all the riches and productions with which the ships were 

^' Pegu, in the 16th century, was visited by Gasparo Balbi, 
a Venetian jeweller; and he relates that the magazines of 
gold, silver, Ganza, jewels^ &c., were under separate trea- 
surers ; and that the king was the richest in the world, except 
the Emperor of China. In the year 1600 the King of Pegu was 
slain by the King of Tangut, who laded six or seven hundred 
elephants and as many horses with gold and jewels ; not 
regarding the silver, which, with all the artillery, was seized 
by the King of Aracan, to an immense amount. Bonferrus 
relates that the Peguans are descendants of Solomon's people. 
The largest elephants in the world are here found in abun- 
dance, and also apes, parrots, and peacocks.'* See Purchas 
(vol. i. 33 to 40), who is of opinion that Pegu is Ophir. 

Ebony is produced in Ava, — the ehenoxylum verum, or true 
jet black kind. (Rees's Cyc, ** Birman.") 

Almug wood is said to be cedar, fir, cypress. (Rees's Cyc. 
^' Almiggim.") 

Josephus describes it as " pine wood in abundance, of such 
great size and beauty, that Solomon had never before seen 
any that was comparable; not like common pine, but with 
the grain of the fig-tree, only rather whiter and more glossy : 
and that it was used as pillars and supporters of the Temple 
and palaces, and also for harps, psalteries, &c."* Abundance 
of fir-trees grow at the present epoch in the kingdom of Ava. 
(See Rees's Cyc, *' Birman.") 

Spices, Pepper of several kinds f , ginger, cardamums, tur- 
meric, three or four kinds of capsicum, cassia fistula, cinna- 

* Josephus, Book viii. ch. 11, 

•^ Peacocks feed on pepper. The writer, while shooting on the banks of 
the Luckia river in Bengal, flushed a flock of about twenty of these 
splendid birds in a field of grass, just high enough to hide them. A more 
beautiful sight can scarcely be imagined. One which he shot, had in his 
crop more than a hundred Chili pepper pods, the smallest and hottest 
kind known, The tail of the bird was full six feet in length, , 

144 An Attempt to prove that Ava 

mon laurel, nutmeg, spikenard, all grow in this country. — 
(Rees's Cyc. '' Birman.") 

Elephants and precious stones. No country produces such 
large elephants ; jewels of all kinds abound in this once opu- 
lent region. The reader, who has any doubts on these points, 
may have ample evidence in the 7th chap, of the Wars and 
Sports of the Mongols and Romans. 

Josephus, speaking of Saphira whence Solomon had his 
gold, says that it was a country of India, and not an island, 
and that it is now called by the name of Aurea *. 

Ava and Pegu are, in Ptolemy's map, named Argentea 
RegiOy and Aurea Regio. The city of Pegu was anciently 
Sahara Civitas ; Persain, or Basseen, was Barabouna Empo- 

Colonel Symes mentions that the analogy between the Bir- 
mans and ancient Egyptians, in many particulars, is highly 
deserving of notice ; that Phra was the name under which the 
Egyptians adored the sun (before it was named Osiris), and a 
title for their kings and priests ; and that Praw, or Phraw, in 
the Birman country, imports lord, and is always annexed to a 
sacred building, and is a sovereign and sacred title, probably 
the same as Pharaoh. The temple of Shoemadoo f was 
founded 2300 years ago J. 

** The ruins of the walls of Terrechetteree are of massive 
thickness, and may be traced through a circuit of ten miles. 
The enormous masses of brick pagodas in Pegu are of imme- 
morial age, and approach nearer to the pyramids than any 
other relic of antiquity. The constant ornaments of the 
religious edifices are sphinxes, griffins, mermaids, and croco- 
diles, which are the exact symbols of the religion of the Egyp- 
tians. Would not this warrant the conclusion, that some 

* Phil. Trans. 1767, Ivii. 155. 

t Shoe means golden. There is also a temple called Shoedagoung, or 
Shoedagon. " Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man, and down- 
ward y?*A;' — Milton, Book i. 462. It is well worth inquiry at Rangoon, 
whether the shape and rites of their god dagon have any analogy with 
those of the Philistines: and in this enquiry, it will be ascertained, 
whether there be any reference or connexion with ih^Jish found in those 
seas called dugong. Some curious information may probably be ol> 
tained on this subject. 

t Symes, 8vo. vol. ii. 62—76. 

ioas the Ophir of Solomon, 145 

unknown cause exists for the similarity ? — but this is a wild 
hypothesis, and very little borne out by probability." (Two 
Years in Ava, by Captain T. A. Trant. Monthly Mev., Nov. 
1827.) If is a curious circumstance that mummy is with the 
Birmans a favourite medicine * ; but it may possibly mean the 
Arabian drug so called, which is used as a medicine also. The 
use of the body as medicine was first introduced by the Jews f . 

The following subject is not necessarily connected with the 
above, but it is added because it is short, and probably new 
to most readers. 

With regard to the Turks, their first great hero, Oguz, 
appears to have been a Siberian J. The Ottomans and the 
Moguls of the race of Genghis Khan claim descent from him§. 
Oguz was the grandson of Mogul Khan, the founder of that 
race. The exact epoch of Oguz is obscure ; he is said to 
have attained the great age of 116 years. '' When Cajumars, 
Prince of Chorassan, died, his son Haushang was in his mino- 
rity, and the lords quarrelling for the reins, Oguz marched to 
Azerbijan, Irak, and Armeen, which countries he conquered ||.*' 
Caiumaras died, and Husheng succeeded to the throne, ac- 
cording to Sir William Jones (vol. v. 587), in the year B. C. 
865 ; and this is, perhaps, the nearest approach to the know- 

* Rees's Cyc. ** Birman.'* 

+ Rees, " Mummy." 

% Strahlenberg was informed by Tartars and Russians at Tobolsk, that 
to the south-west of tliat city, between the sources of the Tobol and 
Ischira, which few people frequented, there were great numbers of images 
cut in stone, of men and beasts, and that the ruins of several cities were 
discernible in those deserts ; and that this was the place where Oguz 
Khan the Great had his residence. — Hist, of Siberia, p. 4. Tamerlane, 
when he was in this neighbourhood, acknowledged it to be the country of 

§ There is a great similarity of customs and ceremonies in these two 
people, who have often been rivals. They have each conquered Siberia 
and China, and all, or part of India extra Gangem ; they both have pea- 
cocks as supporters for their thrones. The Chinese wall was built B.C. 
221 ; and a century afterwards, Vu-ti, emperor of China, also conquered 
Pegu, Bengal, (probably Eastern Bangalla, described in Wars and Sports, 
ch. vii.) Siam, and Cambodia. He divided those countries among the 
generals who had conquered them ; but they soon contracted the manners 
of the Tartars, and became the greatest enemies of the mother country. 
— Du Halde, Wars and Sports, p. 89. 

II Abul Ghazi, p. 19. 

JULY— SEPT. 1828. L 

146 An Aiiempt to prove thui Ava 

ledge of the epoch of Oguz that can be obtained ; but the 
chronology of these heroes and events cannot be very cor- 
rectly known ; nor is the exact truth in that respect of much 
importance in this sketch. The 7th century B. C. is generally 
the epoch assigned to Oguz : some, perhaps, reckon from his 
birth, and others from his death. Solomon is said to have 
died about B.C. 975; therefore Oguz would undoubtedly be 
acquainted with the wealth of the Hebrews, and be inflamed 
with the ambition to pay a visit to the country which furnished 
such various and abundant articles of luxury and grandeur. 

"The Turks had professed the true religion," says AbulGhazi, 
*' till the reign ofCara Khan, the son of Mogul and father of Oguz ; 
but at this epoch idolatry had increased so much, that the son 
would destroy his parent, and the father his child, who showed 
an inclination to return to the true worship. When Oguz 
was born, his face shone miraculously like the sun, and he 
was continually pronouncing the word Allah. 

When Oguz succeeded to the throne, he resolved to force 
the subjects of his grandfather, Mogul, to adopt the true reli- 
gion *. He invaded Dsurdsut (Gurgut or Zinu) on the fron- 
tiers of Kitay f , and the booty was immense. He was 
seventy-two years at war, and brought the people back to the 
true religion. After which he conquered the empire of Kitay J, 
the city of Dsurdsut, the kingdom of Tangut, and Cara Kitay §, 

* It is not unlikely that the introduction of the religion of Budda, or 
Boodh, was the innovation. Boodh was born, says Sir William Jones, 
B.C. 1027. The subject of Boodh's person and country is very obscure. 
*• He had curled hair," says Sir William Jones, " was not a native of India, 
and was probably Sesostris." ** I am inclined," says Herodotus, " to think 
that the Colchians were descended from the troops of Sesostris, because 
they are black, and have hair short and curling. They have also similar 
manners, the same languao:e, and their manufacture of linen is alike." 
(Euterpe, civ. cv.) If the Peguans have preserved their early history, it 
will probably clear up some points relating to the Pharaoh's, Boodh, the 
Turks, and the Syrians. 

t In the map with Abul Ghazi, Zinu is in north lat. 32°. At this epoch 
Singan was the capital of Kitay, which never means more than the 
northern half of China. 

1 B.C. 777. A torrent of Tartars distracted China. — ^Vide Du Halde, 
vol. i. p. 1 63. 

§ Cara (black). Cathay is on the map in lat. 23 to 30, now partly 
Assam. Other territories have borne this name from the colour of the' 
rich soil; it may in this case designate the black people. 

was the Ophir of Solomon, 147 

about the lake Mohill*, where tlie people are as black as 
Indians. From hence, passing behind Kitay, he found on the 
sea-coast, among the mountains, very warlike people, whose 
khan was called Itburac, and who, with a good army, received 
him so bravely, that he was constrained to go back and post 
himself in an advantageous camp between two great rivers. 
Oguz and his chief officers carried their wives with them. 
Seventeen years afterwards, Oguz conquered the dominions + 
of Itburac, and put him to death. Cabul, Gazna, Cashmere, 
Damascus, Turquestan, Great Bucharia, Bale, &c. fell to this 
great conqueror, who, at his decease, made a just distribution 
of his empire among his numerous relations J. 

By the above short essay, some perhaps may be induced to 
conclude that Ava was the true Ophir. With regard to the 
navigation, it was more approachable than some of the places 
mentioned ; and on that point those who have contended for 
Malacca and Sumatra will have nothing to oppose. The facts 
are too remarkable not to attract the attention of literary 
gentlemen in Bengal and Ava ; and further enquiries in those 
countries will very probably lead to curious discoveries on this 

On the Sap of the Rose Tree, 
Communicated by R. Addams, Esq. 
A FEW weeks since I had an opportunity of collecting a consi- 
derable quantity of sap from a rose tree, and I was induced 
to submit it to a chemical examination. The following are its 
characteristics : — 

It was transparent, and colourless when viewed as drops, 
but in large portions it appeared a little opalescent. It was 
tasteless and inodorous. Specific gravity 1.001. It contained 
no uncombined acid or alkali. 

* In the map, lat. 27°. 

t A note says this means Tonquin and Cochin China ; but the posi- 
tions of those countries beyond so many large rivers, seem to warrant the 
conclusion that Assam, Ava, and Arracan, were the territories conquered 
by Oguz, as has been mentioned in page 89 of " Wars and Sports ;" and 
this conjecture is strengthened by the circumstance of Boodh having in- 
troduced his religion first into AiTacan, and thence into Ava. — Bees's 
Cyc. " Boodh." 

J Abul Ghazi, (a descendant from Genghis Khan.) Vol. i. p. U,ch.ii, 


14S On ihe Sap of the Rose Tree. 

Sub-acetate of lead and oxalate of ammonia each occa- 
sioned a precipitate. 

Twelve fluid ounces were evaporated, and afforded 7.25 
grains of solid matter (a), which, being tested by sulphuric 
acid, evolved fumes of acetic acid. 

To this (a) water was added and heat applied, apart only dis- 
solved : the insoluble portion (6) weighed, when dry, 2.9 grs. ; 
it was not acted upon by muriatic acid. Supposing it to be 
oxalate of hme, a part of it = 0.3 of a grain was heated to 
redness on platinum foil ; it left a white powder possessing all 
the properties of lime. The remainder of the insoluble por- 
tion (6), viz. 2.5 grs., was boiled in carbonate of soda, and 
thus decomposed into oxalate of soda and carbonate of lime, 
the latter weighed 1.9 gr., containing 1.064 of lime, being, 
nearly, the equivalent of lime in 2.5 o( neutral oxalate, or 1.094. 

To the soluble part of (a) oxalate of ammonia was added, 
until it ceased to give a precipitate; this being separated, 
weighed 0.9 gr. ; it was oxalate of lime, and equivalent to 
1.097 of acetate of lime in the soluble part of (a). The 
remaining fluid yielded, by evaporation, a brownish viscid 
mass ; this was digested in alcohol (sp. gr. 0.823), and it left 
insoluble matter, which, dried and weighed, was = 2.1 grains, 
and proved to be principally gum and extract. 

The alcoholic solution, when concentrated, gave indication 
of potassa, by the application of muriate of platinum ; it was 
then evaporated, and weighed 0.8 gr. When tested with sul- 
phuric acid, the presence of acetic acid was manifested. It 
was now heated to redness on a silver capsule, then acted 
upon by water, filtered, and evaporated ; it left a little more 
than 0.5 gr. of carbonate of potassa, equivalent to 0.7 gr. of 
acetate of potassa. 

Therefore, collecting the results, it will be — 

Oxalate of lime . 

. 2.9 grains 

Acetate of lime . . 

J. 097 

Acetate of Potassa 

. 0.7 

Gum and extractive matter 


Soluble in alcohol (sugar, &c. ?) 





On the Sap of the Rose Tree. 149. 

I should not have considered the foregoing of sufficient im- 
portance to communicate, if tliere had not been some circum- 
stances, relative to the collecting of the sap, which, inde- 
pendently, may be thought interesting, and which, perhaps, 
may justify my wish to see this inserted in the Journal of 
Science and the Arta, 

The tree which supplied the sap in question is the Rosa 
ruhiflora, growing in a garden at Hammersmith. July 29th, it 
was deprived of its branches by sawing off its head, leaving 
a stem 3J feet high, and 2J inches in diameter. I was in- 
formed the sap began to flow almost immediately after decapi- 
tation. I did not see it until the following day, when the exu- 
dation of the sap was so profuse, that I collected an ounce 
measure of it in forty minutes. The temperature of the air at 
the time was 67°. The saw-cut was made inclined to the 
horizon ; hence the fluid accumulated at the lowest part of 
the section, and I occasioned it to drop into a suspended phial 
bottle, by a piece of twine fastened to the tree in such a man- 
ner as to act the part of a conductor. 

The " bleeding" continued uninterruptedly, a few hours 
more than a week; during this period I procured 31 ounces, 
or nearly a quart ; this, together with that which escaped be- 
fore my attention was directed to it, and the loss by evapora- 
tion, probably exceeded three pints. The discharge diminished 
in quantity from the time 1 first observed it. The tree is now 
living, and vigorously protruding young shoots. 

Having at my disposal an abundance of sap, I repeated the 
analysis upon six ounces collected on the fourth day, but in- 
stead of obtaining from it corresponding products, it furnished, 
by evaporation, scarcely one grain of residuum, consisting of 
about 0.25 grains of oxalate of irnmnrMt. a trace of acetate of 
lime, the remainder being gum. ^ 

A third quantity = 6 ounces of the last portions collected, 
was also examined : in this trial the solid matter was quite equal 
to the last, but it differed materially in constitution, for nothing 
could be separated ; it was entirely gum. 

Some of the sap had been reserved, and by keeping, even 
three or four days, it is found to generate acid, its presence 
being detected by litmus paper ; therefore, in all similar cases, 

150 On the Sap of the Rose Tree, 

it is advisable to examine such productions in their most re- 
cent condition. 

September 6th, 1828. 

Statistical Notices suggested by the actual State of the British 
Empire, as exhibited in the last Population Census, By 
Mr. Merritt. 

(Read before the Literary and Philosophical Society of Liverpool.) 

The Essay of Mr. Malthus, hke the immortal work of Adam 
Smith, for some years after its appearance, rose slowly and 
almost imperceptibly into public estimation. Like its great 
precursor, it has at length attained the dignity of a class-book, 
and is now studied in schools and colleges ; quoted by sena- 
tors, and appealed to by writers, as an authority which scarcely 
any living author has hitherto reached. I am far from doubt- 
ing the grounds on which this consent of public opinion has 
been obtained. I am satisfied that he has made out his main 
propositions with a certainty more nearly approaching to the 
demonstrative evidence of the exacter sciences, than can often 
be attained, or, indeed, expected, in subjects which are in their 
nature so controvertible. I am equally forward to admit that 
his dignified and dispassionate candour is equal to his clear 
and logical precision. The arguments of Mr. Malthus, how- 
ever, it is well known, have been repeatedly and violently 
opposed, both here and abroad. It would have been wonder- 
ful if they had not. When we consider that the most assi- 
duous and persevering research of some of the ablest men in 
Europe have scarcely established a single axiom in political 
economy which is not disputable, it is less surprising that his 
system has been attacked, than that his opponents have been 
so few and feeble as scarcely to merit the trouble of refu- 

This concession, however, is to be understood as applying 
only to the leading positions on which the system is founded : 
such as the natural tendency of population to increase beyond 
the ratio of subsistence ; the consequence of this disproportion ; 
and the inevitable alternative of preventive or positive checks, 

Actual State of the British Empire. 161 

such as he has described. These principles being founded on 
the very constitution of human nature, I should suppose can 
never be shaken by any future discoveries or argumentations. 
They seem to have been at all times sufficiently obvious, and 
yet they have been so little recognised, that the manner in 
which Mr. Malthus has developed them, has advanced the 
science of political economy more than all the efforts of his 
predecessors, and has thrown broad sunshine on some of the 
most perplexed phenomena of civilized society. 

But when this gentleman begins his examination of the 
remedies which have been proposed for these alarming evils, 
and especially when he brings forward his own grand proposi- 
tions of practical alleviation, he then, I presume, enters on 
more debatable ground. This observation, perhaps, might be 
variously illustrated ; but in the few remarks which are here 
loosely thrown together, I shall confine myself to two points of 
acknowledged importance — ^the question of emigration and the 
abolition of the poor-laws. 

From the first appearance of this great work, it always struck 
me, that the chapter on emigration was the vulnerable part of 
the book. To use a vulgar, but very expressive parliamentary 
phrase, he always appeared to me a little disposed to blink that 
essential part of the enquiry. Apparently his object is to shew 
that the evils which have always preceded and accompanied 
emigration, are necessarily greater than those which they were 
meant to relieve. He has made a formidable array of the 
obstacles which present themselves to every new settlement, 
and has detailed some of the most disastrous attempts of this 
kind, which have been recorded in different ages. He has 
endeavoured to shew, that in almost every conceivable case, 
whether the object is to colonize an uninhabited country, or a 
territory claimed, but not occupied by other governments, the 
suffering and waste of life will, in most instances, exceed the 
operation of the positive checks which drove, the superfluous 
population from home. On these grounds, therefore, emigra- 
tion is not to be considered as a remedy, but as a substitution 
of one evil for another equivalent to it, with the gratuitous 
trouble and expense of a change of residence. 

But these conclusions are not inevitable. The sufferings 

152 Actual State of the British Empire, 

which usually attend the formation of a new settlement may 
be avoided or mitigated by that degree of prudence and fore- 
sight, without which no difficult undertaking can be expected 
to prosper. As the relief of an excessive population is a na- 
tional affair, all governments are bound to consider it as such, 
and no expenditure of their revenues can be more useful and 
legitimate than that which is employed to maintain the due 
proportion between the number of the people and the means 
of their subsistence. It ought, therefore, to be a standing 
object of national policy, to provide the resources, and facili- 
tate the means of a periodical emigration. Being thus in con- 
stant readiness, whenever the symptoms of a redundant popu- 
lation begin to manifest themselves, they can be promptly ap- 
plied, before the positive checks, with all their horrible train, 
have made much progress. Most of the disasters which 
Mr. Malthus enumerates were the necessary effect of insuffi- 
cient means, defective information, or rash enterprise. Many 
of the obstacles, moreover, which oppose or retard the esta- 
blishment of new colonies, have disappeared, by the progress 
of colonization itself In those parts of the world which admit 
and demand the greatest increase of inhabitants, the difficul- 
ties which attend a first settlement are already subdued. These 
communities then become strengthened by the admixture of 
new settlers, and the population diff'uses itself by the mere 
expansive force of additional numbers. 

It is sufficiently demonstrated that there exists in mankind 
a power of increase far beyond what was wanting to keep up 
their numbers to any stationary amount. Mr. Malthus not 
only admits but maintains that this prodigious power was 
given for the purpose of replenishing the earth ; which, from 
reason and revelation, we have every reason to believe was 
originally peopled from a very small number. He there- 
fore cannot deny that the command of " increase and multi- 
ply" is of human as well as of divine obligation, so long as any 
considerable parts of the earth remain unpeopled. Yet so 
imperfectly has this command been hitherto obeyed, that there 
is reason to suspect that no progress whatever in replenishing 
the earth has been made for the last 2000 years. Is not this 
U; palpable contravention of the plainest designs of Nature ?ind 

Actual State of the British Empire, 153 

Providence ? Do we not wilfully retard, if we do not studiously 
promote the great scheme of creation, if we omit to furnish 
inhabitants wherever the means of sustenance are found ? 
Does it not indicate some gross defects in human contrivance, 
when we contentedly labour under the dreadful ills of a redun- 
dant population, at the time when the greatest part of the 
habitable globe is wasting its annual produce in the desert air? 

But projects of emigration on a large scale, it will be said, 
would entail on governments such an intolerable expense, that 
no nation would be willing to endure it. It is lamentable that 
the imbecilities of human management should thus encounter 
us at every turn. What an inconsiderable part of the sums 
habitually wasted in the pursuits of national ambition or resent- 
ment, would gradually people all the wilds of America and 
Africa ! But as these diseases of our nature are, perhaps, to 
be reckoned amongst those which are the most desperate and 
incurable, it would not be wise to found any scheme of exten- 
sive good on the prospect of their removal. There is no need 
to reckon on any such chance of improvement in public affairs. 
Under the actual circumstances of the European nations, the 
means of carrying off their superfluous population might be 
provided without any sensible addition to their public burthens. 

But the horns of Mr. Malthus's dilemma encounter us on 
every side. Supposing, what he is far from admitting, that all 
the herculean difficulties of this scheme of emigration could be 
finally surmounted, you only remove the evil for a century or 
two. It then returns upon you with more force than ever, 
because it is universal and illimitable. It is undoubtedly true^ 
that the enemy, though defeated, is not destroyed : though 
driven from the field at present, it is only to recover strength 
for another struggle. But admitting this, we obtain, at all 
events, an indefinite postponement of the mischief; and when 
at last it actually approaches, and the world is completely filled, 
it will then be time enough to debate on the application of 
hazardous or desperate remedies. May we not hope that the 
same Providence, which gave to the fructifying power of man 
its superabundant energy, will provide in the progress of human 
civilization some remedy for its excesses. As this progress, 
when once in activity, proceeds with an accelerated motion, we 

154 Actual State of the British Empire. 

may expect that the lapse of two or three more centuries will 
produce effects on which, at present, it is impossible to calcu- 
late. Before that time, we may hope that universal diff'usion 
of instruction will enable mankind more effectually to under- 
stand their interests, and to regulate their passions. It is also 
probable that an increased taste for luxuries, and an improved 
sense of enjoyment, will render men more fearful of poverty and 
its consequent privations. They will then act more on foresight 
and calculation, and when that spirit is once aroused, the busi- 
ness is accomplished. 

In fulfilling the grand primeval command of replenishing 
the earth — the express injunction of nature and revelation — 
there can be no doubt that the countries already peopled would 
be greatly benefited by the new nations which they successively 
sent out. The young and vigorous offspring would generally 
improve on the parent stock. The science of government, 
which is more in a state of infancy than almost any other, 
might be advanced, like the rest, by repeated and success- 
ful experiments. A degree of enterprize in this particular, 
which old states are afraid to hazard, can be undertaken 
by new governments without material danger. They are not 
encumbered by old, and corrupted, and feudal institutions, or 
checked by the fear of a wealthy aristocracy, or alarmed by the 
clamours of an ignorant populace, pent up in large cities. 
Besides these advantages, they start with all the lights, and all 
the experience of the mother-country, and of all other coun- 
tries. In a society where the population is no where dense, 
where few are discontented and none are superfluous, the 
greatest degree of practical freedom may be safely essayed. 
We see this in the instance of America. A degree of licen- 
tiousness which would endanger the safety of an European 
state, is there found to be very compatible with public tran- 
quillity. Her remote position, her security from hostile attack, 
her superabundant produce, and her consequent exemption 
from many of the vices and miseries of an old nation, admit a 
relaxation of vigour in the government, which in the perilous 
politics of modern Europe would inevitably prove fatal. In 
general, I very greatly admire the government of the United 
States ; but it cannot, I think, be denied, that the superior 

Actual State of the British Empire, 155 

happiness of their people is more to be ascribed to these 
circumstances than to anything in their positive institutions. 

I shall now, in the second place, say a few words on Mr. 
Malthus's great remedy for the magnitudinous evil which he 
has so ably displayed — the gradual abolition of the poor-laws^ 
The authority of this eminent writer, and of some distinguished 
individuals, in and out of parliament, who have adopted his 
doctrines, have propagated a general belief that the system of 
our poor-laws is the great radical evil of the country. After 
all the other trials which we have suffered and survived, this 
domestic sore is, it seems, that which is destined at last to con- 
sume our vitals : our system of parish relief is described as a 
sort of hydra, with a power of self-propagation so prodigious, 
that it must soon lay waste the whole land, and finally leave 
nothing to be devoured. All the mighty evils inseparable from 
the principle of population are, according to Mr. Malthus, in- 
creased by this system to a degree of tenfold aggravation. 
By it all the benefits of the preventive check of moral restraint 
in respect to marriage are stifled at their source. Yet by this 
alone can the multiplied horrors of the positive checks of vice 
and misery be prevented or retarded. No man, it is said, will 
be induced to put any restraint upon his inclination when he 
knows that the parish is bound to maintain all the children 
which his improvident marriage may bring into the world. 
For the same reason he never thinks of making any provision, 
in seasons of youth and prosperity, for those of adversity and 
old age. The increase of parish paupers diminishes their 
sense of shame, and degrades their habits of independence ; 
and the disease in this way, like a conflagration, extends 
itself on all sides, and gathers strength by every extension. 

The Report of the House of Commons labours to show that 
the theory of Mr. Malthus is more than borne out by fact and 
experience. They infer, from the rapid increase of the poor's- 
rates, which they describe to be in an accelerated ratio, that 
they must gradually absorb the whole property of the country, 
convert us into a nation of paupers, and finally reduce the 
functions of government itself to those of overseers and church- 
wardens. In confirmation of this alarming doctrine, they 
produce instances of some parishes where the rent of all the 

156 J dual State of the British Empire. 

land is insufficient to support its poor, and where the soil has 
consequently been abandoned. It is not at all surprising that 
these reports have spread an universal anxiety, and a general 
sense of insecurity amongst persons of property. Every pro- 
ject for the abolition of the poor-laws is, of course, eagerly 

It will not be difficult to show, without much consumption 
of time, that these apprehensions are as much exaggerated as 
the remedy they would suggest is inapplicable, unjust, and im- 
practicable. The whole argument rests on a hollow founda- 
tion. About a twelvemonth ago I transmitted to a periodical 
work a statement respecting the gradual rise of the poor- 
rates, in which I endeavoured to show that the public were 
under great misapprehensions on this important subject. My 
object was to prove that the augmented amount of the poor- 
rates was not more than commensurate with the change in the 
value of money, and the increased amount of our population, 
especially of that part of our population which nourishes and 
sustains the mighty mass of pauperism. This position I en- 
deavoured to support by a comparison of the sums expended 
on the poor, the value of money, and the extent of the na- 
tional population, at a period of forty or fifty years ago and at 
the present time. These points, however, have been stated 
with much more accuracy and detail in a pamphlet published 
a short time since by a gentleman of the name of Barton, 
Adopting as a datum what I presume will not be disputed, 
that the value of money is to be estimated by the relative 
price of corn, he has reduced the contribution of every indi- 
vidual to the poor-rates into its proper value in Avheat, and 
has found that the charge per head on the whole population 
of the realm was, in 1776, forty-four pints of wheat ; in 1785, 
fifty-three pints of wheat ; and in 1815, fifty pints of wheat. 
There is, therefore, a small advance from 1776, but a decline 
from 1785, in the real relative amount of our assessments to 
the poor. 

But this statement, striking as it is, does not by any means 
show the extent of our misapprehensions. It is well known 
that the late rapid increase of our population has taken place 
principally in great towns, or in manufacturing and com- 

Actual State of the British Empire. 157 

mercial districts. There is great reason to believe that (he 
rural population has been nearly stationary; for though the 
cultivation of wastes, and the inclosure of commons, have 
necessarily caused an increase of agricultural employment, yet 
the reduction of small farms, and the improvement of ma- 
chinery and implements, have diminished the demand for 
manual labour. Our increased population, therefore, has 
arisen in those classes of the community in which the seeds of 
poverty and misery most naturally take root. In almost all 
the districts of the country, purely agricultural, the poor-rates 
are comparatively low. The true inquiry, therefore, would be, 
not whether pauperism has increased, with reference to the 
entire mass of our population, but whether it is increased with 
reference to that part of it which furnishes the regular supply 
of indigence. On that comparison, which is strictly fair, we 
may safely assert that it has not increased ; but, on the con- 
trary, very considerably diminished. 

Yet it is on this false assumption of the rapid and constant 
advance of the poor-rates, that Mr. Malthus, and a majority 
of the members of both Houses of Parliament, have founded 
their alarming list of grievances, and their still more alarming 
remedies. The irfundamental propositions are — that our system 
of parochial relief tends, inevitably, to create and extend the 
evils it professes to remove ; that it destroys all self-respect, 
and extinguishes the spirit of independence amongst the poor ; 
and that pauperism, when thus sustained, possesses an in- 
herent power of self-propagation so immense, that it must soon 
swallow up the great bulk of our wealth, power, and popula- 
tion. Mr. Malthus, who usually applies all the phenomena 
of society to his great problem, maintains, as I have mentioned 
before, that all the evils of a redundant population derive their 
worst aggravation from this source. 

The simple statement just exhibited will show, on the con- 
trary, that all these calculations and anticipations are purely 
illusory. The relative portion of our collective w-ealth, devoted 
to the relief of the poor, is not increased, but diminished. 
The self-dependence of the poor, and their salutary terror of 
overseers and workhouses, is noty if we are to believe the evi- 
dence of facts, extinguished, or even impaired. There is no 

158 Actual State of the British Empire, 

reason to infer, from past experience, that the poor-laws ope- 
rate as a bounty on pauperism ; that the prospect of reUef 
creates the necessity for it ; or that our support of the poor 
furnishes the supply of poor to be supported. Is it not per- 
fectly astonishing that enlightened men can found such infer- 
ences as these, and a thousand others, on an inattention to two 
circumstances so well known, as the change in the value of 
money, and the amount and character of our population. 

If these opinions were purely theoretical, and, like a new 
system of geology or cosmogony, framed merely to occupy the 
speculations of retired philosophers, they might be safely com- 
mitted to the lapse of that dull oblivious stream which swal- 
lows up, in turn, the errors of successive ages. But such 
tenets as these are neither intended nor calculated to lie idle. 
Mr. Malthus boldly proposes to found upon them the most 
important innovation that was ever attempted in civilized 
society, and it is plain that the House of Commons are fast 
arriving at that state of mind which can contemplate it with- 
out horror. He would instantly commence a gradual, but 
complete, abolition of the whole system of poor-laws, by a 
public declaration, that no child, born after a given period, 
should be entitled to parish relief, in any case whatever. He 
thinks this would strike at the root of all the existing evils. 
By recreating a spirit of self-dependence, and by deterring the> 
indigent from improvident marriages, it would bring his pre- 
ventive check into full activity. The prevalence of moral 
restraint would then diminish so materially the existing stock 
of poverty and misery, that private benevolence would easily 
supercede the necessity of public relief. 

But before we determine upon this desperate project, we 
must prepare our minds and our senses for such trials as they 
have never yet undergone, even in contemplation. We must 
prepare to see our fellow-creatures perish befoje our eyes, by 
thousands, of famine and disease. The idea, that the prospect 
of parish relief operates as an incentive to marriage, or that 
the removal of all such hopes would act as a restraint upon it, 
are, in my opinion, equally fallacious. It would be quite as 
vain, I believe, to ex|:)ect from that source any considerable 
improvement in the moral conduct of the poor, or in their 

Actual State of the British Empire. 159 

economical and prudential habits. If I may presume to men- 
tion the result of my own experience amongst the poor, which 
is not inconsiderable, I should say, that the most remarkable 
and uniform feature by which they are characterized is their 
reckless and incorrigible improvidence ; — their total inattention 
to the casualties of futurity. Speaking on sober calculation, 
I do not believe that any reflection on the existence or aboli- 
tion of the poor-laws would, in any important point, influence 
the conduct of a poor man in one case out of a thousand. 
Dr. Johnson's jocular account of the matter is, I believe, after 
all, pretty near the truth. ** I am already as poor as I can 
be," (a young man says to himself,) " I cannot possibly be any 
worse, and so Fll even take Jenny." I would not, however, 
omit any justifiable means of augmenting and extending the 
preventive check; for though a system of emigration should, 
be organized, complete in ail its provisions, yet before this 
dernier expedient is resorted to, much previous suffering will 
always be endured. The suggestions of our townsman, Mr, 
Henry Booth, on this point, are highly deserving of attention* 
The necessity of restraining from such marriages as do not 
afford a reasonable prospect of providing for a family, ought, 
he thinks, to be inculcated by every practicable means, as a 
moral duty of the first class. He would have it enforced 
from the pulpit, and from the press ; by private remonstrance, 
and public exhortations. None of these means, perhaps, 
ought to be rejected ; but from none of them is any consider- 
able effect to be expected. They must be estimated at a very 
small amount in any public or legislative measure which may 
hereafter be adopted. 

The support actually awarded to the poor, though enormous 
in its aggregate amount, is barely sufficient to preserve them 
from immediate starvation. I use the expression immediate 
starvation, because it is not sufficient to prevent them from 
perishing by that lingering and imperceptible decline, which 
is frequently induced by excessive privations. Besides this 
scanty allowance, there is no other alternative but the work- 
house ; and their horror of both is so great, that, with respect 
to prospective influence, an entire abolition of parish relief 
■would scarcely act upon their minds with any additional force. 

100 Actual State of the British Empire. 

A young couple, who marry with the ardent hopes and san- 
guine temperament of youth, disdain to contemplate the pos- 
sibility of ever being reduced to depend on any other help 
than their own. It is a matter wholly aloof from all their cal- 

But the worst feature of Mr. Malthus's innovation is, that 
it reduces to one indiscriminate mass of immediate distress 
the profligate and the industrious ; the young and the old ; 
the sturdy beggar, and the blind and crippled mendicant. On 
this sweeping plan, a family, whose whole life has been an 
incessant course of steady industry, and who, on the approach 
of old age, are deprived of the fruits of their earnings by unfore- 
seen misfortunes, and rendered incapable of labour by growing 
infirmities, are entitled to no more support from the country 
they have served and enriched, than the desperate spendthrift 
who never looked beyond the gratification of his appetites. 
The destitute widow, the hapless orphan, lameness, blindness, 
mental imbecility, casual insanity, and all the other innumer- 
able infirmities of our common nature, which reduce the 
strength of manhood to the feebleness of infancy, are to be 
condemned to slow starvation, or to the forlorn hope of casual 
benevolence. I am well aware that any attempt to appeal to 
the charitable sympathies of our nature, in such a discussion, 
would be idle and impertinent. This grave question is not to 
be examined as a matter of feeling, but of calculation. I 
wish to make no appeal but to the results of plain facts and 
obvious experience. 

The efforts of private charity, it has been alleged, would 
become so much more active and extensive by the abolition 
of the poor-laws, that they would quickly be found an efficient 
succedaneum for that pernicious system. There is, it has 
often been said, a fund of benevolence in the British nation, 
always adequate to every claim upon it which may successively 
arise. That this fund is very great, and that it seldom fails to 
rise with the occasion which demands it, I have had sufficient 
opportunities of witnessing. Without such an aid, many of 
the parishes of this kingdom, in the fatal winter of 1816, must 
have been half depopulated. But this resource is, in its very 
nature, precarious and incidental. As an auxiliary it may 

Adaai State of the British Empire. iCl 

safely be depended on, but not as a principal. ** He that runs 
against time,**' says Johnson, " has an antagonist not subject 
to casualties ;" and the same may be said of him that strives 
against want. The supply and the demand being totally differ- 
ent in their nature, can never be made to quadrate with each 
other. They are things which are not in the same category. 
The most benevolent temper will become wearied of applica- 
tions perseveringly continued, or impatient of claims which 
are never remitted, or negligent of wants which are diffidently 
urged. To count upon such a resource, as a regular and 
never-failing supply, correspondent to the cravings of human 
wants, would argue a gross ignorance of human nature, and of 
civilized society. In rural situations, where every individual 
instance of distress obtrudes itself on the notice of the neigh- 
bourhood, it might happen that private charity would often be 
found adequate to its object ; but the case would be far other- 
wise in great cities. It is in these vast receptacles of poverty 
and crime that we are to seek for the deep and fathomless 
recesses of human misery. It is there where poverty retires 
to its cellar or garret to perish unseen ; where no eye witnesses 
its decline, and no ear listen to its complainings. In great 
towns, the most unquestionable and self-evident claims could 
never depend on receiving that regular supply which, to the 
human frame, even for its essential wants, is absolutely indis- 

But to all these objections, and many others which might be 
urged against the abolition of the poor-laws, a triumphant 
answer is given, by appealing to the instance of Scotland, and 
many other countries where no such system has ever been 
introduced. Here, say they, is a direct appeal to fact and 
experience, the only test which that class of reasoners who 
call themselves plain, practical men, will admit to be valid. 
That fact and experience are the surest guides of human con- 
duct no one will attempt to deny ; but we must always be 
sure that the experience we cite is applicable to the case in 
question, and that the facts which are forced into comparison 
are really analogous. The case of Scotland is, in many impor- 
tant respects, a complete anomaly in the history of nations. 
The system of parish education there established, diffuses 

JULY— SEPT. 1823. M 

162 Actual State of the British Empire, 

amongst the lower classes those habits of mental application 
and moral restraint, which produce in manhood a character of 
prudence and self-command ; for the sacrifice of the present to 
the future is at once the object and the means of all just educa- 
tion. This admirable institution, which has no parallelin ancient 
or modern times, could not fail to produce its proper effect, till 
the period when Scotland became a commercial and manufac- 
turing nation. This is the true source, " Hinc illae lachrymse'* 
of parish taxation. A vsystem of poor-laws grows as naturally 
and necessarily out of the body-politic of a great commercial 
state, as fungi from a rich soil, or tumours from a diseased 
animal. This is the price and the compensation of our flou- 
rishing cities and our enormous trade. It is a price which can- 
not be evaded, without incurring the punishment which follows 
every gross violation of justice. In all the operations of nature, 
as W'cll as in the affairs of man, a system of compensation is 
generally cognizable, and it is no where more palpable than in 
this instance. I do not mean to affirm that commerce and 
manufactures do not produce benefits which overbalance their 
concomitant evils, but merely to affirm that we cannot expect 
to receive these advantages pure and defecated. They not 
only, in their periods of prosperity, force up population beyond 
its natural level, and plunge it into distress by their perpetual 
vicissitudes, but they introduce every species of habit which is 
adverse to sober calculation and moral restraint. The great 
masses of people which they necessarily congregate, ferment 
with the leaven of intemperance and licentiousness, till the 
corruption becomes universal. Thus debihtated in body and 
mind, when the season of adversity arrives, it finds them for 
the most part helpless, and without resource. Nothing but 
the intervention of the poor-laws could save their families 
from the most wasting destruction. 

This truth has been made evident even in Scotland, where 
trade and manufactures have already begun to produce their 
usual effects. In most of the populous districts, municipal 
regulations, analogous to the English poor-laws, have been 
generally established, and they are constantly extending them- 
selves. A late eminent Scottish writer earnestly deprecates 
'these fearful beginnings, and adviseS; at all hazards, to havQ 

Actual State of the British Empire, 163 

the mischief checked in its bud. But such advice is vain, as 
well as pernicious. If we are determined to force the growth 
of our people in the hot-bed of our national wealth, we cannot 
abandon them in the weakness to which our processes may 
reduce them. 

I am aware of only one more consideration on this subject 
which is deserving of much attention. Our contest with the 
poor-laws, it is said, is a '* helium ad inter necionemy* and that 
we have to do with an enemy, which, if we do not destroy it, 
■will eventually destroy us, and afterwards itself. According 
to the progress which the system is now making, we are told 
that, at no very distant period, the whole produce of the soil, 
and the productive labour of the country, must be absorbed ia 
parochial taxation. This anticipation, I presume, is sufficiently 
removed by the calculations in a preceding part of this Essay, 
by which it is shown that scarcely any virtual increase has 
taken place in the poor-rates during the last half-century. 
Some persons, who are unwilling to go the whole length of 
abolishing the poor-laws, and yet are alarmed at the danger 
which they conceive to be impending, would limit the future 
amount of the poor-rates to a definite sum, which should not, 
in any case, be exceeded. Nothing could be more cruel and 
unjust than such a regulation, considering the fluctuations to 
which the value of money and the prices of necessaries are 
constantly liable. If, however, it is resolved to legislate further 
in this very difficult subject, I should prefer a statute which 
enacted that no more than a certain fixed proportion (the pre- 
sent amount of the poor-rates, for example) of the annual 
rental of the real property of the country should hereafter be 
devoted to the support of the poor. By such a law the danger 
of unlimited increase would be removed, and the changes 
would, in some degree, be provided for, which are constantly 
taking place in the value of money, of labour, and of commo- 
dities. I suggest this idea, however, with the greatest hesi- 
tation, not being, probably, aware of half the objections to 
which it is liable ; but of this I am thoroughly satisfied, that 
the abolition of the poor-laws, in the present condition of the 
empire, cannot be attempted without the risk of greater 
miseries than have been witnessed in Europe since the revival 


1G4 Actual Slate of the British Empire. 

of civilization, It cannot be too often repeated, that the 
great remedy for this evil, as for all other evils of modern 
society, is only to be sought for in the gradual and general 
education of the poor. 

Proceedings of the Horticultural Society. 

March Uh. 

An account was read of the manner in which an orchard of 
cherries belonging to P. C. Laboucliere, Esq., is protected from the 
attacks of birds. This orchard is of considerable extent, and is 
covered over completely with net-work, strained from poles to 
poles, which are placed among the trees ; a noble instance of a 
disregard of cost in effecting a useful object. A paper was also 
laid before the Society upon the mode of training vines at Thomery, 
near Fontainebleau, where the famous grapes are produced that 
supply the Paris market. The method appears to consist in allow- 
ing the plants very little room to grow either with their branches or 
their roots, and in keeping the latter very near the surface of the 
ground ; in the practice at Thomery, each vine is only allowed to 
occupy a space of about six feet, so that the walls are supplied by 
a multitude of plants instead of by a few, as with us. Several 
interesting varieties of seeds and cuttings were distributed ; and 
the table was covered with a profusion of flowers and fruit. Among 
the latter, the most remarkable were some oranges from the open 
air, which had been produced in the garden of the Rev. J. L. Lus- 
combe, upon trees protected in the winter with nothing more 
secure than wooden shutters. 

March ISth. 

A paper by Mr. Sharp was read, upon the advantages of 
heating hot-houses by the combination of steam and hot water. 
This it was proposed to effect by introducing steam pipes into 
troughs of water, by which means larger masses of heating fluid 
might be prepared at very considerable distances from the boiler. 
It was anticipated that in this method the advantage of permanent 
heat, which is attendant upon the use of hot water, might be com- 
bined with the power of heating rapidly and at points far more 
distant from the boiler than is practicable with water alone. The 
paper was illustrated by a fine model. Some asparagus of extra- 

Proceedivgs of the HortlcuUurat Society. 165 

ordinary size was exhibited ; this had been procured in the g^arden 
of the Society in the open air, by heating ordinary asparagus beds 
with dung placed in the trenches, and putting wooden pipes 
about an inch in diameter over each sprout as soon as it made 
its appearance above ground. In this manner the shoots were 
twelve or fourteen inches long, and tender and eatable their whole 
length, a circumstance which never takes place in common culti- 
vation. This plan is not, however, materially better than that of 
forcing the asparagus in open beds with dung linings, without the 
use of pipes. 

April \st. 

A paper was read describing several new varieties of pears which 
had been raised by Mr. Knight. From this it appeared that the 
object of procuring fine-flavoured keeping pears, capable of bearing 
abundantly as standard trees, had been successfully accomplished ; 
of the great importance of these varieties our successors will 
judge better perhaps than ourselves. Fresh specimens of the fine 
mountain Rhododendron of India, with scarlet flowers, were 
exhibited ; they were from a conservatory, as have been all that 
have yet appeared in this country. This should convince the 
public that they have been deceived in supposing that this splendid 
variety will succeed in the open air in this country. It is true that 
the very name of Rhododendron seems to indicate something pre- 
eminently hardy, and it is also true that severe cold is endured by 
the Indian variety upon its native hills ; but it must also be borne 
in mind that this cold, which is by no means so intense as that 
which we often experience, universally succeeds a season the 
isotherial temperature of which is almost tropical. The tables were 
covered with specimens of other flowers, and with choice fruits. 

May bth. 

This was the first meeting after the unanimous re-election of the 
president and officers of the previous year. Mr. Knight was in 
the chair. Another f^te was announced to take place at the 
garden on the 21st of June. Notices were read of the award of 
a number of medals of the Society by provincial horticultural 
societies. Among the subjects exhibited was an extraordinary 
fruit of the Madras citron, which had been raised by Mr. Wells of 
Redleaf. It was fully as large as a child's head, and excited much 

Jvne 3rd. 

Among a variety of beaytiful flowers and f^xiit, with which th^ 

166 Proceedings of the Horticultural Society. 

tables were ornamented, the most remarkable objects were som6 
specimens of Persian melons, grown in the garden of Sir Thomas 
Frankland. These were of great beauty, and their flavour was as 
perfect as we imagine melons to be capable of attaining. It was 
stated that they also possessed the merit of being more easily 
cultivated than many of the Persian melons. When it is considered 
how far more beautiful and delicious these kinds are than the common 
red-fleshed, thick-coated, indigestible varieties with which our 
markets are supplied, it is really matter of surprise that the latter 
can find either cultivators or purchasers. 

July \st. 

Mr. Knight laid before the meeting his observations upon th(i 
cultivation of the potatoe, the result of which was, recommending 
the plants to be very close in the rows, but the rows very distant 
from each other. He argued, that as it is a certain fact in vege- 
table physiology that the quantity of matter elaborated by the leaves 
and sent down by them towards the roots, depends upon their being 
exposed to as much light as they can have consistently with the 
due performance of their other operations, the placing such a plant 
as the potatoe in circumstances under which one half of the leaves is 
shaded and kept in comparative darkness by the other half, must of 
necessity be absurd. But by letting the plants be close in the rows, 
and the rows distant from each other, the greatest possible facility 
is given the plants for arranging their stems in such a way as to 
expose the whole of their leaves to the hght. We have no space to 
enumerate the endless varieties of strawberries, pines, cherries, nec- 
tarines, raspberries, and flowers, with which the meeting room was 

July \bth. 

We were much struck by the model of a bee-hive, which had been 
received from a Mrs. Griffiths, of New Brunswick, in New Jersey. 
It consisted of a square wooden box, opening at the bottom, and 
fixed upon a framed stand ; a shallower box was adapted to the 
top of this, into which the bees were to work when the lower part 
was filled. The bottom of the box was in the figure of a truncated 
inverted pyramid, and sloped off" so as to drain the interior effec- 

August bih. 

A long paper was read from Mr. Tredgold upon the theory and 
practice of applying hot water to heating stoves. The writer treated 

Proceedings of the Horticultural Society, 167 

his subject in a philosophical, as well as practical manner, and fully 
described the mode to be followed of making the calculations re- 
quired in determining the quantity of apparatus necessary to raise 
a house to a given temperature. We trust to have an opportunity 
of saying more upon this subject when Mr. Tredgold's paper shall 
have been printed in the Transactions of the Society. 

August I9th. 
An account was read from Mr. Knight of the method he prac- 
tised in growing pine-apples without the aid of tan. It was stated 
from the chair that the paper had been accompanied by specimens 
of pines cultivated in the manner described, which were exceedingly 
well grown and high-flavoured. We chance to know this to be 
strictly true, having had an opportunity of seeing these pines ; and 
we have no difficulty in stating that they were not only unexcep- 
tionable in every respect, but very uncommon specimens of excel- 
lent cultivation: they were handsome, heavy, well grown, extremely 
high-flavoured, and remarkably tender, which last quality all 
growers of pines know to be the most difficult of all to attain. We 
were particularly glad to hear this paper read, because it served at 
once to silence an ignorant clamour that has been raised against 
Mr. Knight's attempts at deviating from the routine of cultivation 
which certain persons have thought fit in their wisdom to prescribe. 
It has been pretended that pine-apples cannot be cultivated suc- 
cessfully without the aid of a tan-bed, as if there were some magic 
in that material, or as if they had such a medium to root in when 
wild. Nature has provided nothing for the support of pine-apple 
plants but heat, fight, moisture, and the ordinary principles which 
all vegetables derive from the soil. These can be administered 
with the greatest accuracy artificially, and without a tan-pit ; all 
that can be said of the latter is, that it is a clumsy contrivance to 
do that which we can effect far better without it. It may serve to 
screen the blunders of gardeners, or to save them trouble on one 
hand, while it certainly doubles both trouble and risk on the other; 
but nothing can be so absurd or unphilosophical as to say that such 
an agent is necessary to the cultivation of any thing. 



i. Elementary View of ifA^ Undulatory Theory of Light, 
By Mr. Fresnel. 

[Continued from the Number for April.] 

Of Double Refraction and Polarisation, 

When we throw a luminous pencil on one of the natural faces 
of a rhomboid of calcarious spar^ it divides itself within the 
crystal into two other pencils, w^hich follow different paths, 
and then present two images of objects seen through the 
rhomboid. This phenomenon has been distinguished by the 
name of double refraction, with many others of the same kind 
that are exhibited by other crystals, especially when they 
are cut into prisms, in order to render the separation of the 
images more sensible. 

This bifurcation of the light, however, is not the most re- 
markable circumstance belonging to double refraction ; each 
of the pencils, into which the incident rays are divided, is pos- 
sessed of some singular properties which make a distinction 
between its sides. In order to describe tlie phenomena in 
question with precision, it is necessary to employ, and to 
explain, some particular expressions. 

In such crystals, as exhibit the laws of double refraction 
in their simplest form, there is always a certain direction, 
about which every thing occurs in a similar manner on all 
sides ; and this direction is called the axis of the crystal. It 
must not be considered as a single line : for there may be as 
many axes as there may be lines parallel to each other, and 
yet crystals of this kind are denominated crystals with a single 
axis, if, in all other respects, the optical phenomena are the 
same in all directions round it : so that the word is merely 
synonymous with a fixed direction. It must be supposed 
that the direction of the axis depends on the crystalline 
arrangement of the particles of the medium, and that it must 
hold, with respect to the faces, or their lines of crystallize^^ 

Astronomical and Nautical Collections* 1 69 

tioiij a determinate position, which is always the same for the 
same crystal, however it may be presented to the incident rays. 

There are some crystals in which the perfect resemblance 
of all sides of the axis is not strictly observed, and in which 
there are consequently two particular directions more or less 
inclined to each, which are possessed of properties resembling 
those which belong to a single axis in the simpler form of 
the phenomenon : and these are called crystals with two axes ; 
but we shall consider, in the first instance, crystals with one 
axis only, the optical properties of these being simpler and 
more easily understood. 

A plane drawn through the axis, perpendicularly to the 
surface of the crystal, is called its principal section. The 
present object not requiring an explanation of all the differ- 
ent manners in which the rays of light are bent by the crys- 
tals, but merely of their mode of propagation in these me- 
diums, and the optical properties which they acquire in them, 
we may suppose, for the sake of simplicity, that the incident 
rays are always perpendicular to the surfaces of the crystal, 
and contained in the plane of its principal section : and when 
it becomes necessary to study their progress in different di- 
rections with respect to the axis, we may imagine in each case 
that the surfaces of their admission and emersion are made 
perpendicular to these directions. 

This being premised, we may observe, in the carbonate of 
lime, which has a very conspicuous double refraction, that one 
of the two pencils becomes oblique to the surface when the in- 
cident light is perpendicular ; while the other proceeds with- 
out being bent, in the manner of ordinary refraction: and this 
ray is considered as ordinarily refracted, and the former ex- 
traordinarily : the pencils are also called respectively ordi^ 
nary and extraordinary ; and the images, which they form, 
ordinary and extraordinary images. A similar bifurcation 
takes place under the same circumstances in other doubly 
refracting crystals, such as rock crystal, but the separation 
is so slight that a considerable thickness is required to render 
it sensible. It becomes more easily observable, when the 
crystal is so cut, that the surface of emersion is inclined to 
that of admission, which causes the two pencils to emerge at 

170 Astronomical and JVautical Collections. 

different inclinations, and so become further separated as they 
proceed. But without entering into the details of experi- 
ments, which establish the laws of double refraction, it will 
be sufficient to explain the principal results to which they 
have led. 

It is remarkable, in the first place, that, when the incident 
rays are perpendicular to the surface of the crystal, the de- 
viation of the extraordinary pencil always takes place in the 
plane of the principal section ; and in the next place, that 
this deviation vanishes whenever the pencil is either parallel 
or perpendicular to the axis. 

It has been demonstrated by observation, that when 
the rays are parallel to the axis they not only follow the 
same direction, but pass through the crystal with the same 
velocity ; and it is when they are perpendicular to the axis 
that their velocities differ the most^ although they follow the 
same path. The velocity of the propagation of the ordinary 
rays is the same in all directions : and for this reason they are 
subject to the ordinary laws of refraction. The velocity of 
the extraordinary rays is different according to the angle 
which they make with the axis^ and this velocity is deter- 
mined, in the system of undulation as well as in that of emana-» 
tion, from the flexure which they undergo at their admission 
or emersion in oblique directions, which enables us to find the 
proportion of the sines of incidence and refraction. The ex- 
periments of Huygens, of Dr. Wollaston, and of Malus, on 
the carbonate of lime, and the numerous observations of Mr. 
Biot, on rock crystal, in which the angular measures of dou- 
ble refraction have been carried to the greatest possible pre- 
cision, demonstrate that the difference of the squares of the 
velocities of propagation of the ordinary and extraordinary 
rays is proportional to the square of the sine of the angle 
made by the extraordinary ray with the axis, if we compute 
the velocities according to the doctrine of emanation, as the 
celebrated author of the M^canique Celeste has done : and 
in the theory of undulations, this same ratio is observed in 
the reciprocals of the squares of the velocities ; for the velo- 
cities are always reciprocally related in the two systems* 
This important law, the discovery of which is due to the 

Astronomical and Nautical 'Collections; 17 J 

genius of Huygens, affords us, as its consequences, the facts 
which have been explained : the two kinds of rays possess 
the same velocities in the direction of the axis, because in 
this case the sine vanishes, and the difference of the velocities 
increases gradually with the sine, as we go further from thq 
axis, until it becomes greatest in the direction perpendicular 
to it. 

This difference of velocity is positive in certain crystals, 
and negative in others ; that is to say, in the one class the 
ordinary rays advance more rapidly than the extraordinary, 
and in the other less rapidly. The carbonate of lime, or cal? 
carious spar, affords an example of the first case, and rock 
crystal of the second. 

Such being the general principles of the progress of the 
ordinary and extraordinary rays, we may now return to the 
physical properties which they exhibit after their emersion, 
when they are made to pass through a second crystal, capa-* 
ble, like the first, of dividing the light into two separate pen^ 
cils. It may here be remarked, that the word pencil will 
be employed for a system of waves separated from another 
by difference of direction, or simply of velocity, though pro- 
perly borrowed from the system of emanation, as implying v^ 
^W7?t//e of distinct rays. 

We may first consider the state of the ordinary pencil 
which has been transmitted through a rhomboid of calcarious 
spar : and which, upon being transmitted through a second 
rhomboid, produces two new pencils of equal brightness, when 
the principal section of the second rhomboid forms an angle 
of 45° with that of the first : in all other positions the two 
pencils, and the images which they form, are of unequal 
brightness, and one of them even vanishes entirely when the 
principal sections are parallel or perpendicular : when they 
are parallel, the extraordinary image vanishes, and the ordinary 
image attains its greatest brightness ; when perpendicular, 
the ordinary image disappears, and the extraordinary acquires 
its maximum of intensity. The extraordinary pencil, on the 
contrary, transmitted by the first rhomboid, exhibits exactly 
contrary appearances in passing through the second rhomboid: 
the ordinary image, that it affords, vanishes when the princi- 

172 Agronomical and Nautical Collections. 

pal sections are parallel, and becomes brightest when ihey 
are perpendicuLir ; and then the extraordinary image va- 
nishes. Thus each pencil is unequally divided, except in the 
case when the sections make an ancrle of 45° with each other: 
but when they are either parallel or perpendicular, each of 
them will undergo a single refraction only, which is the same 
with the former when the sections are parallel, but of a con- 
trary nature when they are perpendicular to each other. 

It follows from these facts, that the two pencils, produced 
by the double refraction, have not the same properties in va- 
rious directions about their axes or lines of motion, since they 
undergo sometimes ordinary and sometimes extraordinary re- 
fraction, accordingly as the principal section of the second 
crystal is directed parallelly or perjoendicularly to another 
given plane. Supposing, then, that we draw right lines per- 
pendicular to the rays in these planes, and conceive them to 
be carried by the system of waves in its progress, they will 
show the direction in which it exhibits opposite optical pro- 

The name of polarisation was given by Mains to this singu- 
lar modification of light, according to a hypothesis which 
Newton had imagined in order to explain the phenomenon : 
this great mathematician having supposed that the particles 
of light have two kinds of poles, or rather faces, enjoying 
different physical properties : that in ordinary light the si- 
milar faces of the different particles of light are turned in 
every imaginable direction ; but that, by the action of the 
crystal, some of them are turned in the direction of the prin- 
cipal section, and the others in a direction perpendicular to 
it, and that the kind of refraction, which the particles un- 
dergo, depends on the direction in which their faces are 
turned. It is obvious, that some of the facts may be ex- 
plained according to this hypothesis. But without particu- 
larly discussing it, and showing the difficulties, and even con- 
tradictions to which it leads, when closely examined ; I shall 
only observe, that the differences of the optical properties 
exhibited by the two pencils, in directions at right angles 
to each other, may also be comprehended by supposing 
transverse motions in the undulations which would not be 

Asttonomical and Nautical Collections. 173 

the same with respect to different directions : as they would if 
the particles of the medium oscillated backwards and for- 
wards in lines perpendicular to the directions of the rays. 
But it is better to abandon all theoretical ideas of this kind 
until we have entered more fully into the phenomena. 

It is not merely by passing through a crystal, which di- 
vides it into two distinct pencils, that light receives this 
remarkable modification ; it may also be polarised by 
simple reflection at the surface of a transparent body, as 
Malus first discovered. If we throw on a plate of glass a 
pencil of direct light, inclined to the surface in an angle of 
about 35°, and then place a rhomboid of calcarious spar in the 
way of the reflected ray ; we remark, that the two pencils 
into which it is divided by the crystal, are only of equal in- 
tensity, when the principal section of the rhomboid makes an 
angle of 45° with the plane of reflection, and that, in all 
other cases, the intensities of the two images are unequal : 
this inequality is the more sensible, as the principal section is 
further removed from the angle of 45°, and finally, when it 
coincides with the plane of incidence, or is perpendicular to 
it, one of the two images disappears : the extraordinary image 
in the former case, and the ordinary in the latter. Thus we 
see that the light reflected by glass, at an inclination of 35°, 
is similarly affected with the ordinary pencil, transmitted by 
a rhomboid with its principal section in the direction of the 
plane of reflection. The reflected pencil is said to be pola- 
rised in the plane of reflection ; and in the same manner the 
ordinary pencil transmitted by a rhomboid is said to be po- 
larised in the plane of the principal section of the crystal ; 
and we are obliged to say, on the other hand, that the extra- 
ordinary pencil is polarised perpendicularly to the principal 
section, because it exhibits in that direction the same proper- 
ties which the ordinary pencil possesses in the plane of the 

The surAice of water completely polarises light by reflec- 
tion at the angle of 37° ; and at the surface of other trans- 
parent bodies, in general, when the incidence is such that the 
reflected may be perpendicular to the refracted ray. For the 
discovery of this remarkable law, we are indebted to Dr. 

174 Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 

Brewster. We are not yet certain whether this law is 
rigorously correct, or merely an approximation ; but the lat- 
ter supposition seems to be the most probable. 

At other incidences, the polarisation is only partial ; that 
is to say, in turning the rhomboid round, the image never 
wholly disappears. The images vary indeed in brightness, 
but their minima, which always correspond to the directions 
of the principal sections, do not become equal to nothing. 
In short, when the incident rays are perpendicular, or nearly 
parallel to the surface, the reflected light no longer exhibits 
any traces of polarisation ; that is to say, the two images are 
always of equal intensity in every position of the rhomboid. 

Many opaque bodies, which are not too highly refractive, 
such as marble, and black varnishes, are capable of completely 
polarising the rays which are regularly reflected at their sur- 
face ; while other bodies perfectly transparent or semitrans- 
parent, but highly refractive, such as diamond and glass of 
antimony, never polarise it completely. But the metals are 
the least capable of polarising the light which they reflect, 
even in the most favourable circumstances. It is to be re- 
marked, that the incidences, which correspond to the maximum 
of polarisation, approach so much the more to the surface as 
the reflective body is more refractive ; if at least we may 
judge by the abundance of light reflected, when the body is 
completely opaque, like the metals. 

Transparent bodies do not polarise light by reflection only, 
but by refraction also, and the more completely as their sur- 
face is the more inclined to the rays ; but it is never com- 
pletely polarised in this manner, unless it is caused to pass 
through several polarised plates in succession : and so many 
the more plates are required as they are the less inclined to 
the incident rays. Ma.lus, to whom we are also indebted 
for the discovery of this mode of polarisation, demonstrated 
that the transmitted light is polarised in a direction opposite 
to that of the polarisation of the reflected rays ; the one 
being polarised in the plane of incidence, the other perpen- 
dicularly to this plane. Mr. Arago has found, by some inge- 
genious experiments which afi*orded him a very correct test, 
that the quantity of light polarised by reflection, at the sur- 

Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 175 

face of a transparent body, is always equal to that which is 
polarised by refraction. The enunciation of this remarkable 
principle may be made still more general, if we say that 
whenever light is divided into two pencils, without any 
absorption, the same quantity of light, that is polarised in 
the one, is found to be polarised in a perpendicular direc- 
tion in the other. 

Having now studied the principal means of polarisation, 
we are next to apply ourselves to the singular phenomenon 
presented by polarised light, when it is thrown on the sur- 
face of transparent bodies ; and it is to Malus also that these 
important discoveries are due. We have seen that the light 
reflected by glass at an angle of 35° was completely polar- 
ised : this property is universal, and independent of any 
anterior modifications of the light ; and, in fact, light which 
has been polarised in any other manner is always found, like 
common light, after the reflection, completely polarised in 
the plane of incidence. Now w^e have remarked that a po- 
larised pencil exhibited but one image in passing through a 
rhomboid of calcarious spar, the principal section of which 
was either parallel or perpendicular to its plane of polarisa- 
tion ; that is, the ordinary image in the former case, and the' 
extraordinary one in the other ; or the image of which the 
plane of polarisation coincides with the principal section : 
hence a pencil polarised in one plane cannot furnish, by any 
immediate subdivision, an image polarised in a plane perpendi- 
cular to it: and, generalising this principle, we must conclude 
that a polarised pencil, thrown on glass at an inclination of 
35°, with a plane of incidence perpendicular to its plane of 
polarisation, is also incapable of furnishing any light polar- 
ised in the plane of incidence, since this is perpendicular to 
its own plane of polarisation : but the rays reflected at an 
inclination of 35° are always polarised in the plane of inci- 
dence ; consequently the incident pencil, which is polarised 
in a direction perpendicular to this plane, can afford no 
reflection. This conclusion was justified by the important 
experiments of Malus ; and in the case which we are con- 
sidering, there is no reflected light, the whole being trans- 
mitted. But if, without changing the inclination of the 

176 Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 

plate of glass to the light, it be made to turn round the ray 
as an axis, and to assume different azimuths, reckoning the 
azimuth as the angle which the plane of incidence forms 
with the primitive plane of polarisation, as the word is used 
by astronomers : in these changes of azimuths it is observed 
that the reflected light begins to appear the more sensibly as 
the plane of reflection is further removed from that which is 
perpendicular to the former plane of polarisation : there is a 
maximum when it becomes parallel to this plane, and then 
the reflection diminishes till it disappears entirely, after half 
a revolution of the plate round the ray. 

These phenomena are evidently analogous to those which 
have been observed in each of the two images produced by a 
polarised pencil which passes through a rhomboid of calca- 
rious spar, when it is turned round the ray. It is also by 
the same formula that Malus has represented, in both cases, 
the variations of intensity of the images and of the reflected 
light. If we apply the character i to the angle formed by 
the primitive plane with that of reflection, or with the prin- 
cipal plane of the double refraction to be considered ; and 
if we call the maximum of brightness unity, the brightness 
of the image and of the reflected light will both be expressed 
by cos H. 

We may examine this formula in the case of a polarised 
pencil passing through a rhomboid of calcarious spar ; and 
making i the angle which the plane of polarisation of the 
ordinary image, that is, the principal section of the crystal^ 
forms with the primitive plane, the angle formed with the 
plane of polarization of the extraordinary image will be 
90° — i; so that since cos'e represents the intensity of the 
ordinary image, that of the extraordinary image will be 
expressed by cos ^ (90° — z), or by sin ^i. When i =. 0, 
sin*t = 0; that is to say, when the principal section coin- 
cides with the primitive plane, the extraordinary image 
vanishes, and all the light passes to the ordinary image, 
because, in this case, cos*i= 1. When z == 45°, sinV and 
cos ^i become equal each to | ; and the two images are of 
equal intensity: lastly, when z = 90°, sin^'z— 1, and cos ^2 = 0, 
>yhich implies that the ordinary image vanishes, and all the 

Astronomical and Nautical Collections^ 111 

light passes to the extraordinary image; and the same eifects 
are repeated in the other quadrants. It is obvious that 
these consequences of the formula agree with the observa- 
tions. In order that it should be considered as fully demon- 
strated, it would be necessary that it should be directly 
verified with intermediate values of t : but it has been sub- 
jected, in such cases, to several indirect criterions, which, 
without being perfectly decisive, very greatly increase the 
probability of its accuracy ; besides that we are encouraged 
by analogy and by mechanical considerations to conclude 
that it is rigorously correct. 

In examining the fundamental principles of the theory of 
undulation, we have found that the intensity of the light must 
be supposed proportional to the living force or energy of 
each undulation, or simply, for the same medium, to the sum 
of the squares of the forces of the different points of the 
undulation, and must consequently be proportional to the 
square of the common coefficient of these velocities : conse- 
quently if cos H is the intensity of the light of the ordinary 
image, cos i is the common coefficient of the velocities of 
oscillation in this image, and represents their magnitude ; 
and in the same manner, sin^e being the intensity of the liglit 
of the extraordinary image, sin i represents the velocity of 
the oscillations in the system of undulations which has under- 
gone the extraordinary refraction. We see then that the 
decomposition of the velocities of oscillation of the primitive 
polarised pencil, which is resolved into two others at its 
entrance into the crystal, are proj^ortioned exactly in the 
same manner as if the oscillatory motions, instead of being in 
the direction of the rays, were in a transverse direction, and 
either parallel or perpendicular to the plane of polarisation ; 
for in this case the two velocities conceived to have been 
united, and to be separated, would be proportional to sin i 
and cos i, according to the principle of the composition and 
resolution of the small motions of a fluid, which must be con- 
formable to the laws of statics. The formula of Malus 
appears, therefore, to imply, that the oscillatory motions of 
the ethereal particles are performed in directions perpendi- 
cular to the rays : and this hypothesis is rendered still morq 

JULY— SEPT. 1828. N 

178 Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 

probable, by other remarkable properties of polarised light 
which remain to be explained. 

Mr. Arago and myself, in studying the interference of 
polarised rays, discovered that they exert no influence on 
each other when their planes of polarisation are perpendicular 
to each other, that is to say, that in this case they produce no 
fringes, although all the conditions, which are commonly 
necessary for their appearance, are scrupulously fulfilled. I 
shall mention the three principal experiments which served 
to establish this fact ; beginning with that which was made 
by Mr. Arago. It consists in causing the two pencils, 
emitted by the same luminous point, and introduced through 
two parallel slits, to pass through two very thin piles of 
transparent plates, such as those of mica, or of blown glass, 
sufficiently inclined to polarise almost completely each of the 
two pencils, taking care that the two planes, in which they 
are inclined, should be perpendicular to each other : in this 
case no fringes are observable, whatever pains we may take 
to compensate the difference in the paths, by causing the 
inclination of one of the piles to vary very slowly ; although, 
when the planes of incidence of the piles are no longer per- 
pendicular to each other, we always succeed in this manner 
in obtaining the fringes ; and the same result is obtained 
with much thicker plates of glass, provided that proper care 
be taken to form and polish them very correctly ; and to 
vary their inclination very slowly, in order that the fringes 
may not pass unperceived. In proportion as the planes of 
the two piles are further removed from parallelism, the 
fringes are weakened, and they wholly disappear when they 
are at right angles, provided that the polarisation of the 
rays have been tolerably perfect. It follows, from this expe- 
riment, that the rays of light, polarised in the same plane, 
interfere with each other in the same manner as rays not 
modified ; but that this influence diminishes as the planes are 
separated, and disappears when they are at right angles. 

A similar conclusion may be inferred from the following 
experiment. We take a plate of sulfate of lime, which, 
though Dr. Brewster has shown that it has two axes, yet, 
when divided into plates parallel to their common plane, 

Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 1% 

affects the rays of light in the same manner as if it had one 
axis only in an intermediate direction ; or a plate of rock 
crystal parallel to the axis, and of very uniform thickness ; 
this plate we cut into two pieces, and place one of them oft 
each of the parallel slits. Supposing now the halves to be 
60 placed, that the edges which were separated remain pa- 
rallel to each other, the axes will also be parallel ; and in 
this case we observe but one system of fringes in the middle 
of the enlightened space, as before the division of the plates. 
But if we turn one of the pieces in such a manner as to 
destroy the parallelism of the axes, we form two other 
groupes of fainter fringes, one on each side of the former 
group, and completely separated from them, in the white 
light, when the plates of either crystal are about the twenty- 
fifth of an inch in thickness : and it is to be remarked, that 
the number of breadths of the fringes comprehended between 
the middle of one of these groups and that of the central 
group is proportional to the thickness of the plates, for cry- 
stals of the same nature, or in which the double refraction is 
equally marked, as in rock crystal and the sulfate of lime. 
In proportion as the angle formed by the axes increases, the 
new groups of fringes become more and more distinct, and 
acquire their greatest brightness when the axes of the two 
plates are perpendicular to each other : in this case the central 
group, which had gradually become fainter, altogether dis- 
appears, and is succeeded by a uniform light ; so that we 
must conclude that the rays which produced it by their inter- 
ference, are no longer capable of acting on each other. It 
is easy to infer, from the situation of these fringes, that they 
were formed by the interference of the rays which had under- 
gone the same kind of refraction in the two plates, since, 
having passed through them with equal velocities, they must 
have arrived at the same instant at the middle of the en- 
lightened space, the plates being supposed to be of equal 
thickness, and to remain perpendicular to the light ; and 
these central fringes were consequently formed by the inter- 
ference of the ordinary rays of the first piece with the ordi- 
nary rays of the second ; and by that of the extraordinary 
rays of the first, with the extraordinary rays of the second. 


180 Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 

The two lateral groups, on the contrary, depend on the 
interference of the rays which have undergone different 
refractions in the two pieces ; and the ordinary rays moving 
the most rapidly in both the crystals which have been men- 
tioned, the left hand group of fringes must be formed by the 
combination of the extraordinary rays of the left hand plate, 
with the ordinary rays of the right hand plate, and the re- 
verse for the right hand group. 

We have now to consider the direction of the polarisation 
of the pencils which interfere, in order to determine the 
effects of the polarisation on the interference. It is natural 
to suppose, that the polarisation must be, as in thicker cry- 
stals, in the direction of the principal section, and in a direc- 
tion perpendicular to it : but since this supposition is con- 
trary to an ingenious theory of one of our most celebrated 
natural philosophers, it is necessary to confirm it by an ex- 
periment ; which may be done by cutting one of the edges 
of the plates obliquely, and obtaining a prismatic sepa- 
ration of the rays, which may then be directly shewn to be 
polarised according to the supposition : and if this were not 
reckoned sufficient proof, we might obtain it from the con- 
sistency of the solution which it affords, with the first experi- 
ment of Mr. Arago. It follows of course, that when the axes 
are parallel, the rays of the same refraction are polarised by 
each in the same direction, and those of each refraction are capa- 
ble of interfering respectively in the middle. When the axes 
were at an angle of 45° the rays of contrary descriptions were 
capable of producing some effects on each other, as well as 
the rays of the same description : so that there were three 
groups of fringes. Lastly, when the axes are perpendicular 
to each other, the rays of the same refraction are polarised 
in directions perpendicular to each other, so that the central 
group, which was formed by them, disappears, while the or- 
dinary rays of the left hand plate are then polarised in the 
same direction with the extraordinary of the right hand, 
which causes the right hand group, produced by these rays, to 
attain its maximum of intensity : while the left hand group 
acquire the same magnitude from the opposite refractions. 

There is a third experiment, which still further confirmjj 

Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 181 

the inferences, which have been drawn from the first. I 
took a rhomboid of calcarious spar, polished on two oppo- 
site faces, which were carefully made parallel, and sawed it 
perpendicularly to these two faces, so that I had two rhom- 
boids exactly equal in thickness, and in which the paths of 
the rays were consequently of equal lengths at equal incli- 
nations. I placed them one before the other, so that the rays 
which passed perpendicularly through the one passed in a 
similar manner through the other : the principal section of 
the one was also perpendicular to that of the other, so that 
there were only two pencils which pervaded them, the ordi- 
nary pencil of the first being extraordinarily refracted in the 
other, and the reverse. Now it resulted from this arrange- 
ment, that the differences of the paths depending on the dif- 
ferent velocities of the ordinary and extraordinary rays, were 
compensated in each of the pencils. The pencils crossed each 
other in a very small angle, so that the fringes which they 
would have formed must have had a much greater breadth 
than was sufficient for their being visible ; and yet, notwith- 
standing that all the conditions necessary for the production 
of fringes, in common cases, were strictly observed, I could 
never succeed in obtaining them. While I looked carefully 
for them, with a lens in my hand, I caused the direction of 
one of the rhomboids to vary slowly, moving it sometimes to 
the right, and sometimes to the left, in order to compensate 
for the effect of any difference in the thickness, if it existed : 
but although I repeated this trial a number of times, I still 
observed no fringes ; and indeed they were not to be ex- 
pected, considering the experiments which have been related, 
since the two pencils emerging from the rhomboids were po- 
larised at right angles. 

It was not for want of a correct adjustment that the ex- 
periment did not succeed ; since I easily obtained the fringes, if 
I employed light which had been polarised before its entrance 
into the rhomboids, when the polarisation is again changed 
after its emersion. It is therefore completely demonstrated, 
by the experiments which I have just related, that rays po- 
larised at right angles cannot exercise any sensible influence 
on each other ; or in other words, that their coiribination 

182" Astronomical and Nautical Collections, 

always affords the same intensity of light, whatever may be 
the difference in the routes of the two systems of undulations 
which interfere. 

Another remarkable circumstance is this ; that when they 
have once been polarised in rectangular directions, it is no 
longer sufficient that they be brought back to a common 
plane of polarisation, in order to exhibit appearances of in- 
fluencing each other. In fact^ if in Mr. Arago's experi- 
ment, or in that which I have described after it, we cause the 
rays which have been transmitted by the slit, and which are 
polarised at right angles, to pass through a pile of inclined 
plates, we perceive no fringes, in whatever direction we turn 
the plane of incidence. In place of such a pile, we may em- 
ploy a rhomboid of calcarious spar : and if we incline its 
principal section in an angle of 45° to the planes of polarisa- 
tion of the incident pencils, so that it may divide the right 
angles v/hich they form into two equal parts, each image will 
contain the half of each pencil ; and these two halves, having 
the same polarisation in the same image, ought to produce 
fringes, if it were sufficient to restore the plane of polarisa- 
tion in order to renew the mutual influence of the pencils. 
But it is impossible to obtain fringes in this manner, except 
when the light has been polarised in some one plane, before 
it is divided into two pencils polarised at right angles. 

When, however, the light has undergone the preliminary 
polarisation, on the contrary, the interposition of the rhom- 
boid restores the fringes. The most advantageous direction, 
that can be given to the primitive plane of polarisation, is 
that which divides into two equal parts the angle of the 
orthogonal planes, in which the light is at last polarised, be- 
cause, in this case, the light is equally divided between them. 
We may suppose, to assist the imagination, that the plane of 
the primitive polarisation is horizontal, the planes of the two 
polarisations which follow being inclined to it in angles of 
45°, the one upwards, the other downwards, so that they 
may be perpendicular to each other. We may obtain this 
orthogonal polarisation either by means of the two small piles 
employed in the experiment of Mr. Arago, or by two plates, 
with their axes in orthogonal directions, or with a single cry- 

Astronomical and Nautical Collections* 1§^ 

stalllzed plate : and this last case is the best fitted for om* 
purpose, the others affording only phenomena which are pre- 
cisely similar. 

In order to divide the light into two pencils which inter- 
sect each other in a small angle, and which are thus fitted to 
afford fringes, the apparatus of two mirrors is in general 
preferable to the screen with two slits, because it affords 
more brilliant fringes ; besides, it has here the advantage of 
giving to the pencils the previous polarisation required for the; 
experiment. It is sufficient for this purpose that the mirrors 
should be of unsilvered glass, and inclined about 35° to the 
incident j'ays: and care must be taken to blacken them on the 
back, in order to destroy the second reflexion. We place near 
them, in the path of the light, and perpendicularly to its 
direction, a plate of sulfate of lime, or of rock crystal, cut 
parallel to the axis, and a tenth or twentieth of an inch in 
thickness ; inclining the principal section in an angle of 45^ 
to the plane of primitive polarisation, which we have sup- 
posed to be horizontal. The apparatus being thus arranged, 
we shall only see a single group of fringes through the plates 
as before its interposition, and occupying the same situation. 
But if we put before the lens a pile of glass, inclined either 
to the horizontal or to the vertical direction, we shall dis- 
cover, on each side of the central group, another group of 
fringes, which will be so much the more remote from it as the 
crystallized plate is thicker. If we substitute for the pile of 
glass a rhomboid of c^lcarious spar, of which the principal 
section is in a horizontal or a vertical direction, we observe, 
in each of the two images that it produces, the two additional 
systems of fringes which had been before formed by the in- 
terposition of the pile ; and it is remarkable, that these two 
images are complementary to one another ; that is to say, 
that the dark stripes of the one correspond to the bright 
stripes of the other. 

We see in this experiment a new confirmation of the prin- 
ciples which are demonstrated by the foregoing. The rays, 
which have undergone the contrary refractions, cannot affect 
each other ; because, when they emerge from the same 
plate, in the case that we are considering at present, they 

184 ^Astronomical and Nautical Collections, 

are polarised in orthogonal directions; and consequently 
the groups of fringes on the right and left cannot exist, un- 
less we restore their mutual influence by reducing them to a 
common plane of polarisation : and this is done by the inter- 
position of the pile of glass plates, or of the rhomboid. The 
fringes thus obtained are so much the more marked, as the 
two contrary pencils which produce them are more equal in 
brightness ; and it is for this reason that they are best dis- 
tinguished when the principal section of the rhomboid makes 
an angle of 45° with the axis of the plate. When this prin- 
cipal section is either parallel or perpendicular to that of the 
plate, the rays refracted ordinarily by the plate, pass intirely 
into one of the images, instead of being divided between the 
two ; and all the extraordinary rays pass into the other 
image : so that the rays of the separate descriptions do not 
interfere with each other ; and the additional groups disap- 
pear : each image presenting only those fringes which are 
derived from rays of the same kind, that is, those which form 
the middle group. 

These two groups of additional fringes exhibited by po- 
larised light, in the first position of the rhomboid, furnish one 
of the most accurate modes of measuring double refraction, 
and of studying its laws. In fact, their eccentric position 
depends on the difference of the paths of the ordinary and 
extraordinary rays which have passed through the plate, and 
we may judge of the number of undulations that the extra- 
ordinary rays of the pencil have been left behind the ordi- 
nary rays, by the number of breadths of fringes compre- 
hended between the middle of the right hand group and that 
of the middle group : and this difference in the paths is still 
better measured by the interval comprehended between the 
middle points of the lateral groups, which is twice their 
distance from the middle of the central groups. It is most 
convenient to employ white light for these experiments : first, 
because it is the brightest, and secondly, because it renders 
the middle point of each group more easily distinguishable. 
It is true, that we only measure in this manner the double re- 
fraction of the brightest rays, that is, the yellow ; but this is 
precisely the mean, double refraction, and besides, that of the 

Astronomical and Nautical Collections, 185 

other rays differs in general very little from this. And if we 
compare the thickness of the plate with the difference of the 
paths thus formed, we may compute from it the difference of 
the velocities of the ordinary and extraordinary rays. 

With this apparatus, Mr. Arago and myself made an ex- 
periment on a plate of rock crystal parallel to the axis ; and 
the result of our measurements gave us the same difference 
in the velocities of the ordinary and extraordinary rays 
as Mr. BioT had found by direct observation of the diver- 
gence of their rays in prisms of the crystal. Mr. Biot's 
method is equally accurate with ours, when it is required 
to determine the refraction of crystals which have great 
powers of separation, such as carbonate of lime, rock 
crystal, and sulfate of lime : but the method furnished 
by diffraction is far preferable for substances in which the 
difference is less sensible : for if we take a pretty thick 
plate, we can determine the difference of the velocities of the 
two kinds of rays with a degree of accuracy almost unlimited ; 
and it is not even necessary that the plate should have any 
considerable thickness, in order that a very high degree of 
accuracy may be attained : for it is easy to perceive a differ- 
ence of one-fifth of an undulation, that is, of four millionths of 
an inch, in the lengths of the two paths. The same experi- 
ment might be applied equally well to the purpose of veri- 
fying, in the most delicate manner, the law of Huygens, as re- 
lating to rays passing very nearly in the direction of the axis. 

The agreement, thus obtained, between our results and 
those of Mr. Biot, is sufficient to show the multiplicity of 
relations which the principle of interference establishes be- 
tween those phenomena of optics, which appear at first sight 
to be the most diversified in their nature. 

We have supposed the rays of light to be polarised in 
the same manner in these crystalline plates as in the thickest 
crystals, that is to say, that the rays which are transmitted 
by the ordinary refraction are polarised in the principal 
section, and the others in a direction perpendicular to it. 
This hypothesis, deduced from the most direct analogy, ought 
not to be abandoned, unless it were found to be in positive 
contradiction with the phenomena j and, in following the 

188 Astronomical and Nautical Collections 

consequences, to observe what pencils ought to influence each 
other, and to produce fringes, we have always seen the 
results of observation agree with it. Besides, the plates 
employed in our experiments, being always at least four hun- 
dredths of an inch in thickness, were capable of having their 
edges cut obliquely, and producing by these means the sepa- 
ration of the ordinary and extraordinary pencils, which are 
then found polarised in directions parallel and perpendicular 
to the principal section. It i^ not at all probable that this 
mode of polarisation should be determined by the very 
slight inclination of the two faces of the crystal, which 
divides the light into two distinct pencils when this angle is 
of only ten degrees : in short, a prism of glass of an equal 
angle gives but a slight degree of polarity to the light by the 
obliquity of its surfaces, which, even if it were more consi- 
derable, would only cause a polarisation perpendicular to the 
plane of incidence. Thus, if we consider the polarising 
action of the prism of crystal as generally composed of two 
parts, the one depending on the inclination of its surfaces, 
and the other on its double refraction, we can only attribute 
to the latter a polarisation of the two pencils in the directions 
which are parallel and perpendicular to the principal sec- 
tion, and we must conclude that they undergo the same kind 
of polarisation when the parallelism of the faces prevents 
us from distinguishing them, since this parallelism makes no 
change in the laws of the double refraction. 

These consequences, however conformable they appear to 
the rules of analogy, have, however, not been admitted by 
Mr. BioT, who supposes light to receive, in thin crystallized 
plates, and even in such as are a tenth of an inch in thick- 
ness, a form of polarisation wholly different from that which 
it exhibits when it emerges from a crystal thick enough to 
separate it into distinct pencils. The opinion of so respect- 
able a natural philosopher was of sufficient importance to 
induce me to establish, by some new experiments, the true 
direction of the polarisation of the ordinary and extraordi- 
nary rays in crystallized plates : but the results which I have 
obtained were always conformable to the general analogy of 
double refraction. 

Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 187 

Having placed the two halves of a plate of sulfate of lime, 
about one twentieth of an inch in thickness, before two 
slits cut in a screen, and turning these plates in such a man- 
ner that their axes were perpendicular to each other, I 
examined, by means of a rhomboid of carbonate of lime, the 
direction of the polarisation of each of the two groups of 
fringes which they produced. We have seen that the right 
hand group results necessarily, according to the known laws 
of interference, from the combination of the extraordinary 
rays of the right hand plate with the ordinary rays of the 
left, since these latter move the more rapidly in the sulfate of 
lime : this group must therefore be polarised perpendicu- 
larly to the principal section of the right hand plate, since 
this is the direction of the polarisation both of the ordinary 
rays of the left, and of the extraordinary on the right, ac- 
cording to the actual arrangement of the plates : and since, 
besides, direct experiments on the interference of rays po- 
larised in any plane, show always that the fringes are 
polarised in the same plane. In the same manner, the group 
on the left, resulting from the interference of the ordinary 
rays on the right with the extraordinary rays on the left, 
will be polarised perpendicularly to the principal section of 
the plate on the left. Now these consequences of our hypo- 
thesis are perfectly conformable to experiment : for we find 
when the principal section of the rhomboid, placed before 
the lens, is parallel to the axis of the right hand plates, the 
ordinary image contains no other than the left hand fringes, 
and the extraordinary image the right hand fringes; and on 
the contrary, when the principal section of the rhomboid is 
parallel to the axis of the left hand plate, or perpendicular to 
that of the right hand plate, it is the left hand group that 
has disappeared from the ordinary image, and the left hand 
from the extraordinary. 

We see that the ordinary and extraordinary rays are here 
distinguished, not by their direction, as when the crystal is 
cut into the form of a prism, but by the difference of their 
effects of interference. Thus, for example, in the space 
occupied by the fringes of the right hand group, which re- 
sult from the interference of the extraordinary rays of th^ 

188 Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 

right with the ordinary on the left, there arrive at the same 
time ordinary rays from the right hand and extraordinary from 
the left, which, being polarised in a common direction, neces- 
sarily influence each other, but produce no sensible fringes? 
on account of the too great difference of their routes, or on 
account of the too great distance of the point from the central 
stripe, which for these two pencils is on the left hand : for 
we have seen that, in white light, it is only possible to dis- 
tinguish a very limited number of fringes, beginning from 
the middle stripe, and that beyond the seventh or eighth order 
the combination of the two pencils produces uniform light 
only. The ordinary and extraordinary rays of each plate 
are always found together at the same point of the enlight- 
ened space ; but some of them form sensible fringes, by their 
interference with rays of a contrary description coming from 
the opposite plate ; while the others constitute a white light 
only ; and from this distinction we are able to examine 
them separately, and to determine the direction of their 

When two pencils which interfere are polarised exactly in 
the same direction, the fringes which they form possess the 
same character: but when the directions of their polarisation 
form an acute angle with each other, the fainter fringes, 
which they now produce, appear to be polarised at once in 
both directions, since they disappear from the extraordinary 
image when the principal section of the rhomboid is turned 
either in the first or the second direction ; one of the pencils 
being excluded in either case, so that the interference can no 
longer take place, and the light must remain uniform. 

Having shown that these phenomena of interference con- 
firm the general hypothesis, it remains to be proved that 
they are inconsistent with the ingenious theory of moveable 
polarisation, the fundamental principles of which it is neces- 
sary to explain. 

Mr. BioT supposes, that when a polarised pencil passes 
through a doubly refracting crystal, of which the principal 
section is situated obliquely with respect to the primitive 
plane of polarisation, the axes of the luminous particles, 
which had been situated in this plane, undergo, at theirentrance 
into the crystal, certain oscillations, which carry them alter- 

Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 189 

nately to the right and left of the principal section, sometimes 
arriving at the primitive plane, and sometimes at another 
plane situated at the same angular distance on the other side, 
or at the azimuth 2i, calling the angle formed by the two 
first planes i. For example, if the principal section makes 
an angle of 45°, with the primitive plane of polarisation, the 
axes of the particles vibrate through an arc of 90°, which is 
now 2t. Mr. Biot supposes that these oscillations are repeated 
a very great number of times before the particles attain a 
fixed polarisation, which arranges their axes, so as to make 
them either parallel or perpendicular to the principal sec- 
tion : and a thickness of some tenths of an inch, or perhaps 
of some inches, is required, according to this able experi- 
menter, in order that the moveable polarisation should 
become fixed in the sulfate of lime, at least while the paral- 
lelism of the two surfaces prevents the separation of the 
ordinary and extraordinary pencils, which is always accom- 
panied by the fixed polarisation. But when the faces are 
parallel, and the thickness of the plate does not exceed the 
limit, the particles of light which pass through it, instead of 
being polarised in the principal section, and in the direction 
perpendicular to it, are polarised either in the primitive 
plane, or at the azimuth 2z, accordingly as the last oscillation 
of their axes was directed towards the first or the second 
plane, and this whether it was finished or only begun at the 
time of their emersion; at least, according to Mr. Biot, 
they are affected by the rhomboid which is employed for 
analysing the emergent light, as if their last oscillation had 
been finished. The time occupied by one of these oscillations, 
or the thickness of the crystal in which each of them is per- 
formed, is supposed to be constant for particles of the same 
nature, but variable in the different kinds of light, in pro- 
portion to the length of the ** fits" [imagined by Newton.] 
Let us now examine the consequences of this, and consider 
the case of the two halves of a plate of sulfate of lime, about 
the tenth of an inch in diameter, placed before two mirrors 
of black glass in the path of the reflected rays. Let us sup- 
pose that the mirrors, disposed in such a manner as to pro- 
duce the fringes, are inclined in an angle of 35° to the rays 
which proceed from the luminous point, so that they may b^ 

190 Astronomical and Nautical Collections, 

completely polarised by reflection before their introduction 
into the crystallized plates, as in the apparatus already 
described : and let us suppose that the axes of the two plates 
are perpendicular to each other, and each make an angle of 
45° with the plane of reflection. According to the theory 
of moveable polarisation, all the emerging rays must b6 
polarised in a direction parallel or perpendicular to this 
plane, which is that of the primitive polarisation : thus each 
of the two groups of fringes, which are observed to the right 
and left, results from the interference of the two pencils 
polarised both in this plane, or both in the direction per- 
pendicular to it : consequently, if the two groups of fringes 
could exhibit signs of polarisation, it could only be in one or 
the other of these orthogonal directions : now the experiment 
is as opposite as possible to this consequence, since it is pre- 
cisely when we place the principal section of the rhomboid 
in one or the other of these directions, that the two images 
of each group possess the same intensity : and in order that 
one of them may vanish, it is necessary, on the contrary, that 
the principal section of the rhomboid should make an angle 
of 45° with these directions, that is to say, that it should be 
parallel or perpendicular to the principal sections of the two 
plates. When it is parallel to the left hand plate, it is the 
left hand group that disappears from the ordinary image, 
and the reverse. It is obvious that the direction of the 
polarisation is the same as in the experiment last related, in 
which the incident light had not undergone any previous 
polarisation, before it passed through the crystallized plates. 

Thus, whether we employ direct or polarised light, the 
ordinary and extraordinary pencils into which it is divided 
in passing through a crystallized plate, are always polarised, 
the one in the plane of the principal section, and the other in 
a direction perpendicular to it. 

We have hitherto employed plates not less than a twentieth 
of an inch in thickness, and we have constantly found, in the 
ordinary and extraordinary rays, the same direction of pola- 
risation as they manifest when they are separated into distinct 
pencils. It was, however, interesting to ascertain also, by 
means of interferences, whether the same mode of polarisation 
was also to be found in much thinner plates, such as those 

Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 191 

which give colours to polarised light, when it is analysed at 
its emersion, by means of a rhomboid of calcarlous spar : for 
it is this production of colours that led Mr. Biot to a con- 
trary supposition. For this purpose, I took a plate of sul- 
fate of lime, about one hundredth of an inch in thickness, 
which exhibited strong colours, and yet was in no danger of 
having the different groups confounded : and having divided 
it into two pieces, I placed them in the manner already 
described. The two groups of fringes, instead of being 
entirely separated, as they had been when the plates were 
three or four times as thick, were mixed a little in the inter- 
mediate space ; tut it was easy, nevertheless, to distinguish 
in each of them the stripes of the three first orders, and to 
ascertain that the right hand group, for example, was pola- 
rized perpendicularly to the axis of the right hand plate ; 
for when the principal section of the rhomboid was turned in 
this direction, it disappeared entirely from the extraordinary 
image ; and when, instead of the rhomboid, a pile of glass, 
sufficiently inclined in its direction, was placed before the 
lens, the left hand group only was discernible, and was in 
this case perfectly free from the niixture of the colours of the 
right hand group, exhibiting the usual appearance of a single 
group. And when the experiment was made with two me- 
tallic mirrors, the slight polarisation which they occasion in 
the reflected rays, being destroyed by a pile of three or four 
pieces of glass, properly inclined, before their passage 
through the plates, the same direction of the polarisation is 
still found for each of the groups of fringes. It is therefore 
fully proved, that in one of these cases, as well as in the other, 
the thin plates polarise the ordinary and extraordinary rays 
in directions parallel and perpendicular to their axes. 

Having shown that the hypothesis of moveable polarisation 
is contradicted by facts, whenever it is possible to distinguish 
the ordinary from the extraordinary rays, I shall now pro- 
ceed to a particular description of the phenomena of the 
colours of crystallized plates, which led Mr. Biot to this 
hypothesis, and I shall show that it is by no means neces- 
sary to their explanation. 

[To be continued in our next Number.] 


Astronomical and Nautical Collections, 

ii. Principal Lunar Occultations of the fixed Stars in the 
months of November and December, 1828, and January, 1829, 
calculated for the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. By Thomas 
Henderson, Esq. 


Names of Stars. 


Immersion and 
Mean Time. 

Difference of 

Point of 

H. M. S. 

,^ . 


Nov. 21. 

^ Tauri 


Imm. 12 30 55 

15 41 N. 


Em. 12 43 1 

14 56 N. 

27 R. 


A' Cancri 


Imm. 11 1 41 

5 4S. 

150 L. 

Em. 12 8 2 

3 S. 

52 R. 

Dec. 21 

u Geminorum 


Imm. 9 1 20 

4 16 N. 

112 L. 

Em. 10 12 9 

4 26 N. 

42 R. 


9r Leonis 


Imm. 10 19 42 

8 6 N. 

96 L. 

Em. 11 3 56 

13 14 N. 

11 L. 

Jan. 8 

9- Aquarii 


Imm. 6 1 47 

11 36 N. 

17 L. 

Em. 6 59 1 

16 N. 

123 R. 


q Aquarii 


Imm. 7 39 47 

10 35 S. 

94 L. 

Em. 8 7 52 

16 16 S. 

151 L. 


X Geminorum 


Imm. 8 50 21 

10 41 S. 

167 L. 

Em. 9 51 21 

8 35 S. 

104 R. 

The explanations of the colu 

mns are tl 

le same as in the preceding Numbers. 

An error of 11 seconds in tl 
moon and star will be sufficien 
the 21st of November, into an i 

le comput 
t to conve 

ed difference of declination between the 
rt the predicted occultation of V^ Tauri on 

An occultation of o Piscium 
by calculation at 15^ 30" mea 
moon's southern limb. The 

may possi 
n time, th 
star will 

bly happen on the 18th of November ; for 
e star is only 27 seconds distant from the 
be occulted to places further north than 

[To be c 



§ I. Mechanical Science. 

1. Tulley*s New Catadioptric Microscopes. — Mr. W. Tulley, stimu- 
lated by the example and success of Amici, has invented a reflecting 
microscope, the optical principle of which is, we believe, entirely 
iiew and original ; the objective part consists of an elliptic metal, 
and a perforated plane one of corresponding dimensions, forming 
an angle of forty-five degrees with it. A section of a cylinder is 
introduced into the hole of the plane metal, in such a way as to 
allow light to pass towards the elliptic metal, but to exclude it in 
every other direction, so that no false rays can enter. 

The manner in which the instrument operates is as follows : — 
The object to be viewed is placed nearly whole in the plane, through 
which its rays diverge towards the elliptic metal, from which they 
are reverberated to the plane metal, which reflects them at right 
angles to the eye-piece, by which the image they form is viewed in 
the usual way (the object of the section of the cylinder is to exclude 
false light). This instrument has its good and evil properties, like 
all others. It has been duly executed by Mr. Tulley, and may be 
considered in its optical principle and its performance, equal to that 
of Professor Amici, over which, indeed, it possesses the advantage 
of being capable of receiving an unlimited angle of aperture. The 
objection to it is that the diagonal metal does not permit the ap- 
proach of an object to the focus of the elliptic one, with the facility 
necessary for practical purposes. Only very small objects can be 
viewed, which must be mounted in a particular manner, having to 
be introduced as it were into the external part of the hole in the 
plane, where no latitude of motion can take place ; sliders, 
aquatic live boxes, &c. are wholly inadmissible : these defects, will 
we are afraid, confine this instrument to the cabinets of the curious. 
There is a great difficulty in executing the plane metal, for that 
part immediately about the hole must be perfect, and the sharp 
edges of the aperture are a great obstacle to correct execution 
(which, however, has been conquered by Mr. T.). There are impedi- 
ments also in the adjustment of the plane, which is apt to lose its 
figure, being made as thin as possible to admit the approach of the 
object to it. 

The other microscope forms its image by one reflection only. 
Opaque objects are mounted upon a small arm, and presented to 
the focus of an elliptic metal inserted at the end of a tube, at the 
other extremity of which the usual eye-glasses are placed, while the 
illumination is effected from an aperture in its side. 

Transparent objects are illuminated by means of light, furnished 
by a small plane metal placed diagonally behind them, being in 
fact exactly similar to that which is employed in the Amician 

JULY— SEPT. 1828. O 

194 Miscellaneous Intelligence, 

microscope, to co-operate in forming the image, but which is here 
used only as an illuminator, being removed beyond the focus of the 
concave metal. 

Any Amician instrument may, of course, be easily modified into 
this form, for it will be merely necessary to draw its plane metal 
further back, and to perforate a fresh hole in the side of the tube to 
admit the light, with some additional contrivance to present the 
object in its proper place. This reflector, considered only with 
reference to its optical principle and performance, is at once the 
most simple and the most perfect of the whole family of compound 
microscopes, but has nearly the same inconveniences as the other, 
relative to the application of objects. To those who regard not the 
difficulty at which they procure perfect vision, this instrument must 
be highly valuable, and probably will long retain a place among 
microscopes as a verificaior or proof engiscope ; for there can be no 
doubt that the vision it affords is of the purest and most un- 
adulterated nature. 

2. Carpenter*s Aplanatic Solar Microscope. — This is the first 
solar instrument which has ever possessed achromatic object-glasses 
regularly worked to correct diverging rays. The experiment of 
converting telescopic object-glasses of short foci to the purpose of 
forming an image for the solar microscope has been oflen made, 
but of course without any good effect ; it is as rational to expect 
that such glasses should answer both for divergent and parallel 
light, as that the same medicine should cure a diabetes and a 
dropsy. The pictures of microscopic objects given by the present 
instrument are totally freed both from chromatic and spherical aberra- 
tion, and in consequence of which the coloured fringe which forms 
the outline of all objects shown with common object glasses is re- 
moved, together with that nebulous indistinctness which causes the 
image to appear a mere shadow when inspected closely, and, there- 
fore, fit to be viewed only from afar. 

The observer may boldly proceed up to the very screen on which 
the picture is formed by the achromatic glasses, and will find that 
the image instead of losing by this close scrutiny developes those 
minute details which were invisible at a distance. But it is chiefly 
when opaque objects are viewed that the incontestable superiority 
of the achromatic shines forth in all its splendour (especially if con- 
trasted with the effects of common glasses, which, it is well known, 
give an image of radiant bodies, which is a mere jumble of aberra- 
tion of both kinds, not fit for public exhibition.) 

Those who fancy that aplanatic glasses are no better adapted to 
the nature of a solar microscope than to that of a camera-obscura, 
would do well to examine Mr. C.'s instrument ; in fact the public 
voice has already decided the question, 

The frame of this instrument is on a gigantic scale, the illuminat- 
ing lens being a foot in diameter, with everything else in proportion. 

Mechanical Science. 195 

The immense body of light condensed together by it gives a won- 
derful richness and vivacity of colouring to the image wliich, com- 
bined with its sharply-defined outline and vast dilatation, distends 
the faculties with surprise and pleasure, frequently surpassing the 
most lively anticipation. 

Upon the whole there would be nothing to wish for or to find 
fault with about Mr. C.'s instrument if it possessed aplanatic object- 
glasses of sufficiently short foci to developethe tissue of animalcules 
and other regular microscopic objects. Nothing certainly can 
exceed the perfection of its combined double treble achromatic, the 
power of which is also admirably adapted for exhibiting large 
popular objects, but far too low to show those curious and difficult 
minutia which gratify a connoisseur. Such an objective as that 
famous deep sextuple one lately worked by Mr. W. TuUey, which 
demonstrates the most difficult test objects with such incomparable 
facility, would complete the effectiveness of this really respectable 
and scientific engine of public instruction and amusement. This 
deficiency is shortly to be supplied. 

3. Improvement in the Barometer. — An improvement has been 
made in the barometer of Gay-Lussac by M. Bunten, which has been 
submitted to, and received the approbation of, the Academy of Sciences 
at Paris. Its object is to prevent the introduction of bubbles of 
air, which almost inevitably takes place when the barometer is carried 
either on foot or horseback, or in a carriage, in a horizontal posi- 
tion. It consists in expanding the glass in one part of the wide 
tube, so as to form it into a chamber, from the centre of which a 
capillary tube of a certain length descends perpendicularly, by which 
the mercury must necessarily pass, either when rising or falling. 
If a bubble of air enters, it necessarily moves up by the surface of 
the large tube, and is stopped at the top of the chamber, producing 
no error in the observation made whilst it is there. When the 
barometer is inverted the bubble escapes of itself. This invention, 
the reporters observe, does away with the only inconvenience attend- 
ing the use of Gay-Lussac's barometers, without adding anything 
to their fragility. — Revue Ency. xxxviii. 536. 

4. Effect of the Moon upon Barometric Pressure. — M. Flauger- 
gues has added his efforts to those of the persons who have endea- 
voured to ascertain the effect of the moon's attraction upon the 
atmosphere of our globe, endeavouring to elucidate the subject by a 
very close and continued series of barometrical observations made 
daily at mid-day since 1808. The column of mercury in the baro- 
meter was 2.46 lines in diameter, and in the cistern 37.89 lines in 
diameter. The height was marked off" to the -j^^th of a line, and 
corrections made for capillarity, variations of the external level, 
temperature of the mercury both in the tube and in the cistern. 
The following is the table of the mean height of the mercury drawn 


1&6 Miscellaneous TnteUigence, 

up from daily observations from 19th October 1808 to 18th October 
1827, a period of nineteen years. The observations were made in 
the observatory at Viviers, 2^ 20' 55. "5 loncritude east of Paris, 
and 44° 29' I" north latitude. The basin of the barometer was 
56.78 metres (186.3 feet) above the level of the Mediterranean. 
Mid-day was chosen for the time of observation, because the height 
of the barometer is not sensibly affected at that time by the sun. 

T ... Number of Mean heie-ht in 

Lunar positions. Observations. millimeters. 

General mean height 6915 755.44 

New moon or conjunction 234 755.39 

First octant 234 755.37 

First quadrature 234 . 755.37 

Second octant 235 754.65 

Full moon or opposition 234 755.23 

Third octant 234 755.70 

Second quadrature 234 756.32 

Fourth octant 235 755.48 

Northern lunistice 258 755.73 

Southern lunistice 258 755.42 

Lunar Perigee 252.; 754.72 

Lunar Apogee 252 755.82 

The conclusions drawn by M. Flaugergues are — 1. That the ba- 
rometer rises from the second octant when it is lowest, to the se- 
cond quadrature when it is highest, and then again descends to the 
first point: the total variation is 1.67 miUimeters (.0657 of an inch). 
Thus in a lunar day, the barometer is lowest when the moon is 
135° from the meridian towards the east; i. e., 9 hours 18j minutes 
of mean time before its passage across the meridian, or 6 hours 
12j minutes after its passage. 2, The action of the moon is 
stronger when its declination is southern than when it is .northern, 
contrary to the theory of Laplace. 3. The difference between the 
actions of the moon at the apogee and perigee, is 1.1 millimeter 
of the latter greater than the former. The author finally concludes 
that the number of rainy days is greater when the barometric 
pressure is diminished than when it is augmented. — Bib. Univ.t 
Dec. 1827. 

5. — On the Arravgeinent of JVater Pipes in Streets. — The effect 
of temperature upon iron pipes, used for the conveyance of water, 
and also some other circumstances have been investigated by M. 
Girard: he has arrived at the following conclusions. 1. According 
to the effect produced by change of season and temperature upon 
pipes of this metal placed in subterraneous galleries, they altered in 
length for each centesimal degree (1.8 degrees of Fahr.), 0.0000985, 
a quantity about -^ less than it would have been if they had not 
been confined on their supports by friction. 2. Although this effect 
is less when the pipes are put in the ground, it is still sufficient to 
occasion rupture, leakages, and other unpleasant accidents. 3. If the 

Mechanical Science, 107 

joints are not made by bolts, but one end of a pipe is inserted into 
the mouth of the next pipe, then the space for the interposed sub- 
stance should be as small as possible, and the substance one which 
swells when in contact with water. 4. The lenj^th of the joints should 
be considerable, both to prevent the escape of water and the flexure 
of the system of tubes. 5. To ensure tightness, the stuffing* should 
be confined between a ring fixed to the end of the pipe, and a move- 
able ring sliding on the tubes. 6. That this precaution may be 
dispensed with by laying the pipes down in the coldest part of the 
season. 7. That pipes put into the ground should be supported at 
intervals by firm props of masonry, to prevent those inflexions 
which otherwise occur, and form ruptures. 8. That in large towns 
it is advantageous to place these pipes in subterraneous galleries, 
either such as are made on purpose, or else in the sewers. 9. That 
galleries have been tried advantageously for 20 years, and therefore 
should be resorted to, that those derangements of the pavement and 
inundations from broken pipes which are consequent upon the 
ordinary mode of proceeding, may, from henceforth, be avoided. — 
Globe, April 16, 1828. 

6. — New Razor Straps. — A new kind of razor strap, invented by 
M. Ferrot, has received the name of euthegone. From the flexibility 
of leather, a round edge is given to the blade, for which reason 
paper is used in the new strap. Two kinds of very fine paper have 
been manufactured purposely, with fine and homogeneous pulp, 
mixed in the one case with fine emery, and in the other with very 
fine rouge. These papers are then steeped in melted tallow, after- 
wards pressed to give them a smooth surface, and then cut into 
bands, and mounted on pieces of wood properly shaped. Each 
strap has therefore two faces, one gray, on which the razor may be 
rendered very sharp, and the other red, which, polishing the edge, 
renders it extremely smooth. The razor must be laid very flat upon 
these straps — they improve by a few days use. When ineffectual 
from age, the surface should be rubbed with a very smooth piece of 
pumice, or with a little pumice powder on marble or ground glass ; 
being then wiped with a piece of cloth, they are brought to their 
first state. — Bull. Soc. Encouragement. 

7.— On the Fusion of Tallow.— The Council of Health at Nantes 
has been engaged in an investigation of the best means of fusing 
tallow, so as to avoid the injury and annoyance which arises from 
an abundant liberation of vapours, when the ordinary method is 
used. Much pains has been taken in acquiring all the information 
possible, and numerous experiments have been made both on a 
large and small scale. The best process which the Council has 
instituted appears to consist in using, according to M. D'Arcet*s 
suggestion, a certain proportion of sulphuric acid, and operating in 
close vessels. By the use of the acid, the fumes always evolved 
are very much altered and ameliorated in quality, at the same time 

198 Miscellaneous Intelliyenee, 

that the fused tallow is improved in quality and increased in quan- 
tity, the fusion very much quickened, and the use of a press dis- 
pensed with. By the use of close vessels, the fumes evolved can be 
either conducted to a fire-place to be burnt ; or, if that may be thoupjht 
dangerous, in consequence of the occasional boiling over of the 
melting tallow, can be conducted into a condensing apparatus^ 
which is found readily to condense them. 

M. D'Arcet uses 100 parts of crude tallow in small pieces, 50 
parts of water, and 1 part of sulphuric acid, sp. gr. 1.848. In some 
small experiments a digester was used, having a pierced copper 
plate near the bottom to avoid the necessity of stirring ; 1500 
(31b. 5oz.) parts of crude tallow, 750 of water, and 124 of oil of 
vitriol were used, and the fumes conveyed by a pipe into afire-place ; 
half an hour's ebullition completed the fusion. The infusible 
matter when pressed in a cloth, weighed only 96 parts, and was 
slightly acid. The tallow was white, hard, and sonorous, and not 
acid. Without the acid, the same effect was not produced in an 

A tallow manufacturer then tried the experiment with 2 cwt. of 
tallow, using the acid, but operating in open vessels ; 92 per cent, 
of fused tallow was obtained, and 8 of loss occurred : in the ordinary 
way, 15 per cent, of loss occurred. In a second large experiment 
with acid, only 5 of loss occurred. The residue does not require the 
use of a press, but cannot be made into cakes for cattle, unless pre- 
viously freed from acid by washing. 

Experiments made on the condensation of the vapour was found 
to succeed very well, and thus all fear of injury from fire is avoided. 
The Council propose conducting the vapours into the drains of the 
works and so condensing them there ; no annoyance being appre- 
hended from the occasional return of the vapours into the building, 
as that effect can be counteracted by the use of stink traps. — 
Ann. de V Industrie, i. 295. 

8. Method of hardening Plaster Casts and Alabaster. — The fol- 
lowing process is described by M. Tissot who has patented it in 
France. The piece of plaster or alabaster after being shaped, is 
put for 24 hours into a furnace. If the piece is only 1 8 lines 
thick, 3 hours in the furnace, heated up to the temperature required 
for baking bread, is sufficient ; if thicker, it is left in for a propor- 
tionably longer time. At the end of the time, it is withdrawn 
with caution and cooled, after which it is put for 30 seconds into 
river water, withdrawn for a few seconds, and then again immersed 
for a minute or two, according to its thickness. The piece is then 
exposed to the air, and at the end of three or four days, has 
acquired the hardness and density of marble. It may then be 
polished. — Bull, Univ. E. x. 26. 

9. Injurious Co/owrs.— The Government of Lombardy has issued 

/• '(f^emical Science, 

^ law, which, under penalty of confiscation, forbids the use of any 
venomous substance, such as arsenic, zinc, lead, and other mineral 
colours in the printing or dying of fabrics which are intended for 
clothing, or may come in contact with the human body. Many 
cutaneous affections, it is said, of which the cause has hitherto been 
unknown, are occasioned by the absorption of deleterious dying 
substances. — Nouveau Journal de Paris, 1828, p. 2. 

10. Method of preventing Milk from turning sour. — Put a spoon- 
ful of wild horse-radish into a dish of milk ; the milk may then be 
preserved sweet, either in the open air or in a cellar for several days, 
whilst such as has not been so guarded, will become sour. 

1 1 . Infernal change in the Position of Particles in Solids. — If a cer- 
tain quantity of the prismatic crystals of sulphate of nickel be enclosed 
in a bottle and then exposed to the heat of the sun, it frequently 
happens that though their external form is preserved, so that they 
may be measured, yet if broken they are found formed of a multitude 
of octoedral crystals with square bases. This change requires two 
or three days. These crystals by analysis appeared to contain 2.93 
parts per cent, less of water, than the prismatic salt containing 7 
proportionals. This is another striking instance of the internal 
motions of the particles of solid bodies. — Mitscherlich, Ann. de 
Chimie, xxxviii. 65. 

§ II. Chemical Science. 

1 . Conducting Power of Metals for Electricity. — The following 
are the results of M. Pouellet's researches on this subject, and are 
highly interesting, especially as regards the effect of alloys on the 
metals ; for even small quantities of foreign substances exert great 
influence on the conducting power. The purity of the silver is ex- 
pressed by the proportion of pure silver per cent, present in the 
alloy ; the column of figures represents the conducting power : — 
Silver of 98.6 ... 860 Red copper . . 224 

Red copper ... 738 Brass. ... 194 

Silver of 94.8 . . 656 Iron .... 121 

Fine gold .... 623 Gold of 18 car. fine 109 

Silver of 80 . , . 569 Platina ... 100 

M. Pouellet finds, 1. That the conducting power is very exactly 
proportional to the section of the wires from the smallest diameter 
to that of three lines : 2. That it is in the inverse ratio, not of the 
length of the wire, but of the length increased by a constant quan- 
tity X. This quantity X, unchangeable for various lengths of the 
same wire, changes with the nature of the metal, and for each 
metal is in the inverse ratio of the section of the wire. M. Pouellet 
therefore believes that the conductibility is truly in the inverse 
ratio of the length of the wires, provided that the resistance opposed 

1^00 Miscellaneous Intelligence. 

to the electricity in traversini^ the fluid in the cells of the pile and 
the different conductors which carry it to the experimental wire 
could be taken into account. — Bull. Univ. A. x. 59. 

2. Conducting Power of different Fluids for Voltaic Electricity. — 
The following table is drawn up from the experiments of M. 
Foerstemann. The first column of fijrures indicates the specific 
gravity ; the second, the quantity of electricity conducted by the 
different substances in equal times; and the third, the time required 
for the conduction of equal quantities of electricity. 

Muriatic acid . 




Acetic acid 




Nitric acid 








Sol. muriate of ammonia 




Sulphuric acid 




Sol. potash 




Sol. common salt . 




Sol. acetate of lead 




Distilled water 




Kastner's Archiv. iv. 82. B71II. Univ. A. x. 49, 

3. Influence over the electric Powers of Metals. — In addition to the 
cases which have been pointed out by Avogadro, Marianini, De la 
Rive, and others, of a change produced in the electric powers of 
metals by various circumstances, the following striking one by Van 
Beek may be quoted. A plate of copper and a plate of iron con- 
nected by a platina wire were immersed separately in two vessels 
containing sea water, the portions of fluid being communicated by 
moistened cotton. Things were left in this state for forty-seven 
days, during which time of course the copper underwent no change ; 
after that period, the platina wire was cut, and it was then expected 
that the copper would be corroded, as will happen to a plate of 
copper put in the ordinary manner into sea water for a single day 
only. This effect however did not take place ; the copper remained 
bright, and the liquid clear, against all expectation, even though the 
cotton also was removed, and continued so after twenty days. This 
effect was not because the water had lost its power, for a portion of 
it, in w^hicli a, piece of ordinary copper had been immersed, caused 
corrosion in a single day ; and the copper itself being put into an- 
other portion of sea water, was instantly attacked by it. Hence it 
appears that the preservation of the copper for so long a time 
without action on the sea water must have been due to the mutual 
condition of the metal and solution, induced under the previous cir- 
cumstances of an existing electric current, and not altogether to a 
change cither in the one or the other. — Bib. Univ.., Mars, 1828. 

4. Onihe secondary Piles of Rilier. — A long experimental memoir 

Chemical Science, 201 

by M. Marianini on this subject is terminated by the following 
conclusions, which give the result of his investigations. 1. The 
electro-motive power in Ritter's secondary piles is not ])roduced by 
the difficulty which they oppose to the passage of the electricity ; 
since they acquire a polarity contrary to that of the voltaic piles 
with which they have been put in communication ; because the more 
rapid is the current the more readily do they arrive at a given state 
of tension, and also because in varying the nature of the plates the 
piles also acquire more or less readily a certain electro-motive 
power. 2. The developement of piles of the second kind in Ritter's 
columns have little or no influence on their activity, for on turning 
and changing the humid layers which would make them, the polarity 
of the whole is not changed. 3. The polarity of these secondary 
piles arises solely from the alterations produced by the electric cur- 
rent on the metallic surfaces in contact with the humid conductors ; 
for the plates being washed and dried still preserve their power of 
putting electricity in circulation if moistened pieces of cloth be put 
between them. The fact otfers a ready explanation of all the phe- 
nomena produced by these piles. — Aim. de Chimie, xxxviii. 40. 

5. Comparison of the Tourmaline and had electro- conductors. — 
M. Becquerel has been engaged in examining the effect of heat upon 
bad conductors of electricity, and comparing them with the effects 
of heat upon the tourmaline, for the purpose of elucidating the 
electric states of the latter body, and of bodies in general. Heat 
which diminishes the conducting power of metals, increases that of 
glass, gum-lac, and bad conductors of electricity. The eflects which 
are produced when the temperature of glass is diminished, were 
those first examined. A small glass tube, .04 of an inch in dia- 
meter and between three and four inches in length was suspended to 
a fibre of silk and hung in a glass cylinder, the bottom of which was 
closed by a metallic plate : by heating the plate the temperature of 
the tube could be varied, and the effects observed. When the tube 
is dry and at common temperatures, it is powerfully attracted by an 
excited stick of gum-lac held near it ; but leaving the tube exposed 
to air, it soon becomes damp, and the attraction ceases. If again 
heated to 68° or 77° Fahr. nothing happens ; for the heat is not suffi- 
cient to dissipate the moisture on the surface ; but then, on remov- 
ing the lamp and allowing the temperature to fall, peculiar effects 
are noticed ; for the tube is immediately attracted, and continues to 
be so as long as the cooling proceeds. Again, raising the tempe- 
rature to 77°, the tube is not only attracted, but acquires two poles, 
which disappear on the removal of the electrified gum-lac; whilst 
on the contrary, when they are produced immediately on the re- 
moval of the lamp, they continue during the whole time of cooling. 
"When the temperature is raised to 212°, polarity is not occasioned 
in the glass tube under the influence of the excited electric until 
the moment when the thermometer begins to fall. When raised to 

202 Miscellaneous Intelligence, 

802°, polarity is not manifested until the temperature has fallen 
2 or 3 degrees. In all these cases, it remains to the end of the 
cooling ; but if at any time the temperature of the air about the 
glass tube is raised 2 or 3 degrees, polarity disappears. These 
effects are analogous to those produced by the tourmaline under 
the same circumstances of heat, except that in the glass they are 
determined by the excited electric, and in the tourmaline by the 
peculiarities of crystallization. 

A small cylinder of gum-lac used in place of the glass tube was 
rapidly attracted by the excited electric at the moment of cooling 
from 68° or 77° ; but the polar state was very difficult to produce, 
and continued for a very short time. 

In these experiments the excited electric should have a nearly 
constant state ; one of the poles of a dry pile answers the purpose 
very well. 

M. Becquerel considers the theory of M. Ampere as accounting 
for some of these effects very well, but not for the permanency of 
the poles during cooling. The theory supposes atoms to have an 
electricity which is proper to them ; which, acting as neighbouring 
bodies, decomposes their natural electricity or electricities, attracting 
that of a different name, and repelling that of the same name, as in 
the Leyden bottle ; then these atoms become surrounded by an 
electric atmosphere, which partly hides the electricity proper to 
each, &c. 

M. Becquerel finds that the electric effects of tourmalines vary 
with their length, and he concludes, doubtless, with their breadth ; 
so that the intensity of the electricity developed may well be con- 
sidered as a function of these two quantities. Small tourmalines 
become more highly and readily electric than large ones. Large 
tourmalines which could not be electrized by heat alone, when 
broken gave fragments readily rendered electric. Admitting that 
this law is applicable, however much the size is reduced, it results 
that the integral molecule, should acquire an intense electric polarity 
for very feeble variations of temperature. 

Some facts induce M. Becquerel to suppose that the colouring 
matter of tourmalines may modify their electric properties. — Ajin. 
de Chimie, xxxvii. 369. 

6. Electro-magnetic Current from heated Fluids. — M. Nobili 
connects the two ends of his galvanometer wire with the saline 
solution in two cups, and then these cups with two others contain- 
ing more of the same solution, by bundles of moistened cotton. 
Two small cylinders of clay are then made, and, when necessary, 
connected with the cups by moistened cotton, so as to constitute the 
ends of the arrangement. When one of these cylinders is dried, 
then strongly heated, and suddenly thrust two or three inches deep 
into the other soft and moist cylinder, the needle of the galvano- 
meter deviates as much as 80° from its natural position. This 

Chemical Science, 203- 

experiment is considered as bearing upon the theory of the globe, 
or at least upon that theory which supposes a central fire, since, 
by contact with the cold, damp superficial parts, the fire may be the 
active agent in producing magnetic currents. — Bib. Univ., 1828. 

7. Purity of Metals tested by the Galvanometer. — Mr. (Ersted 
proposes the galvanometer as an indicator of the comparative 
oxidability of metals, and ako of their comparative purity. The 
metals in contact with the ends of the galvanometer wire are to 
be brought together with a portion of some proper fluid between 
them, and the relation of the two used, one to the other, will be indi- 
cated of course by the way in which the needle moves, and the 
extent of the motion. The needle is to be governed not by the 
magnetism of the earth merely, but by two magnets placed at a 
proper distance. 

The quantity of copper in an alloy of that metal with silver, may 
in this way be instantly ascertained. A series of metallic plates 
are to be prepared, from the purest silver down to mere copper, 
and of known composition ; then the piece of silver to be tried is 
to be applied to one or another of these, and both to the galvano- 
meter, until that plate is found which has the same electro-motive 
power with the piece of metal : they will then both have the same 
composition. Muriatic acid slightly diluted is the fluid to be used : 
it may be placed between the two metals by a piece of linen or 
well-washed amadou. The surfaces of the two pieces of metal 
for contact with the acid should be very clean, and exactly of the 
same size. — Jahrb. der Chemie, 1828. 

8. Construction of Magnetic Needles. — According to M. de Legey, 
steel for magnetic needles should not be selected from amongst 
springs, for such steel is formed of fibres more or less hard, which, 
by the action of the hammer, has had different directions and une- 
qual hardness given to them. M. Legey prefers German laminated 
steel plate, from which he cuts a strip in the direction of the length, 
and then draws it out, so as to close the pores, till it is very brittle. 
From this plate he cuts the lozenge intended for the needle. All 
the operations should tend to lengthen the fibres in parallel direc- 
tions. The steel is then to be hardened, after which it is to be 
moderately tempered, then polished on the wheel, and finally magr 
netized to saturation. 

Before magnetizing the needle, it is examined, and usually found 
to have two poles. Whatever may have caused them, M. Legey 
regards the needle as more apt to receive magnetism, according to 
the position of these poles, than in any other direction, and there- 
fore endeavours to preserve them in every operation to which the 
needle is subjected; thus, in the polishing it should always be 
done in the direction of the length of the needles, and the southern 
pole should be held opposite to the course of the wheel ; a pro- 

^04 Miscellaneous Intelligence. 

cceding' which it is affirmed preserves the position of the poles. 
When the needle is magnetized, the same attention to its previous 
state is to be given. — Bvll. de la Sec. Encourage^ 1827, p. 249. 

9. Alteration of Brass Wire in the Air. — M. Cagniard de la 
Tour stated to the Academy of Sciences, that when long brass wires 
were stretched for some days in the open air, especially in wet 
weather, they became so brittle as to break with great facility v/hen 
bent to a moderately acute angle. 

10. New Solar Phosphori, by M. Osann. — The solar phos- 
phori, prepared in the following manner, are described as being far 
more powerful in their effects than those previously known: — 

1. Oyster-shells are to be calcined ; the whitest and most porous 
are to be selected, to be cleansed from all impurities, and then 
packed into a crucible in the following manner. The bottom of 
the crucible is to be covered with a thin layer of finely pulverized 
sulphuret of antimony, then an oyster-shell is to be put in, this is 
to be covered with more sulphuret, after which, a second shell is 
to be packed in, and so on, until the crucible is full. The pow- 
dered sulphuret should be spread uniformly by means of a fine 
sieve, and each layer of it should be about half a line in thickness. 
The crucible being closed, is then to be heated red hot for an hour. 
"When cold, the upper and lower shells, if spotted, are to be rejected, 
and the rest preserved. When exposed to sun hght, and then 
taken into a dark place, it shines brightly at every part, with a 
greenish-white light. A red heat applied for a long time causes 
the light to be white. 

2. If the powder used be red sulphuret of arsenic (realgar), 
instead of antimony, the light of the phosphorus produced, after 
exposure to the sun's rays, is blue, like that of a sulphur flame. 
The phosphorescence is not so universal as with the preceding, but 
takes place only upon the white parts. Points occur here and 
there producing light of a fine reddish purple colour. If heated 
highly for a long time, the light produced by phosphorescence is 
then white. 

3. Arseniate of baryta and gum, made into a paste, and heated 
to redness for half an hour, produces a yellowish-gray substance, 
which by phosphorescence yields a red light ; if heated more than 
half an hour, the light is yellow ; if for a long time, the light is 

Weaker phosphori are produced by using the following sub- 
stances with the oyster- shells : mosaic gold, light bluish; cinna- 
ber, light yellow ; white arsenic, light yellowish-blue ; blend and 
sulphur, light bluish. All the phosphori may be preserved in jars 
closed by bladder; even in the air they do not change rapidly : 
three weeks' exposure did not diminish their power. When the 
lime falls to powder, their effects are diminished. Those prepared 

Chemical Science. ^)5 

with antimony anil realgar lose in the intensity of the colour when 
lonjr exposed to light, so that they should be preserved in black- 
ened bottles. 

Cold favours the absorption of light ; heat favours the dispersion ; 
boiUng water destroys the phosphorescence. Exposed to solar 
liglit for a minute, and then taken into a dark place, some Bo- 
lognian phosphorus shone for 4 minutes ; the third of those above, 
for 34 minutes; the first (with antimony) for 149 minutes; and at 
this period that prepared with realgar shone as brightly as it did 
one hour before. A red heat applied for several hours destroyed 
the power of the realgar preparation, very much weakened that 
with antimony, but did not affect that of the arsenic compound. 

The light of an electric spark passed one inch above these phos- 
phori makes them luminous. These phosphori shone even in the 
daylight, but their light then appears white. — Kastner's Arch. 
Bull. Univ. A. x. 50. 

11. Preparation of Iodine by M. Souberan.>— The following is 
the process recommended by M. Souberan, by which he has 
obtained as much as -^^th part of iodine from mother liquors, that 
would yield none by the ordinary process. The mother liquors 
from the soda works, are to be diluted with 4 or 5 times their weight 
of water, and solution of sulphate of copper added, until precipita- 
tion ceases. The deposit will consist of iodide of copper and sul- 
phate of lime, and is to be separated. Large iron fihngs, or turn- 
ings, are then to be put into the liquid and agitated, until all smell 
of iodine has disappeared, by which process, the remaining portion 
of iodine will separate as an iodide of copper, mixed with metallic 
copper and the iron turnings, but easily separated by washing over. 
These two precipitates are then to be acted upon separately, in one 
of the following ways : 1. The iodide is to be mixed with two or 
three times its weight of peroxide of manganese, and a sufficient 
quantity of concentrated sulphuric acid, and then distilled, when all the 
iodine will rise with some aqueous vapour ; or 2. The mixture of 
iodide and oxide of manganese is to be heated in a retort to a high 
temperature, when pure iodine will come over ; the residue is pul- 
verulent, and can easily be extracted without breaking the vessel. — 
Ann. des MineSy N. S. iii. 102. 

12. Action of Ammonia on heated Metals. — We gave an account 
in our last volume of M. Savart's experiments on this subject. M. 
Despretz claims the honour belonging to a prior discoverer on the 
following points. The diminution in density of copper, iron, and 
platina, after these metals have been employed in decomposing 
hydrogen gas. This fact he had published in his lectures, and in 
printed leaves, as early as December, 1827 ; and also the following, 
that during the decomposition of bi-carburetted hydrogen by heat, 
fusible white crystals were obt«ine<l, volatile at a low temperature 

208 Miscellaneous Intelligence, 

M. Savart then stated, and proved by the evidence of M. Duldng, 
Chevreul, and others, that his results were obtained in August and 
September, 1827. 

13. Method of collecting Air for Analysis, — Chemists frequently 
have occasion to collect air from particular situations, for the pur- 
pose of analyzing it. When the air contains no substance soluble 
in water, a iDottle filled with water being opened in the place, and 
the liquid poured out, becomes filled with the air, and may then be 
closed. If there be gases or vapours present, which act on, or are 
dissolved in water, as sulphuretted hydrogen or carbonic acid, then 
mercury is usually employed in place of water. M. Gaultier de 
Claubry thought that some saline solution might be found, which 
having Httle or no solvent power over these substances, might be used 
for the purpose, and ultimately found such a one in a saturated 
solution of sulphate of magnesia, made by dissolving in 1 part of 
water, 1 part of the crystallized salt, or half a part of the anhydrous 
salt, using a slight elevation of temperature for the purpose, and 
then allowing the liquid to cool. Experiments were made on the 
solvent power of this solution, and also of water and saturated so- 
lutions of sulphate of soda and nitrate of potash ; the two latter were 
scarcely better than water, for being mixed with their bulk of car- 
bonic acid, they dissolved nearly eight-tenths of it, whilst the sul- 
phate of magnesia solution dissolved only two-tenths ; and when tried 
with sulphuretted hydrogen, they dissolved above nine-tenths^ and 
the sulphate little more than five-tenths. 

Mixtures of air with a few hundreths of these two gases when 
agitated with the solution of sulphate of magnesia, lost very little 
of the gases, and only with difficulty. A bottle filled with the solu- 
tion, and then opened in such mixtures of air, was filled with the 
mixture without any sensible change being produced on it by the 
solution. In experiments made at certain sewers at Paris, where 
air had to be obtained from depths and situations to which men 
could not pass, the use of the solution was found to give the same 
results as the use of mercury. 

Sulphate of magnesia is a cheap salt, and may, therefore, be very 
useful in these and similar circumstances. — Ann. de Chimie. xxxvii. 

14. On the Hypo-phosphites. — M. Rose has been engaged in a 
general investigation of these salts, and his memoir is inserted in 
the Annal. der Physik und Chemic, 1828, p. 77. The hypo-phos- 
phites of lime, baryta, and strontian, may be prepared by boiling 
the earths with phosphorus and water. In preparing that of lime, 
the phosphorus should not be added before the milk of lime boils, 
and the operation should be continued until all the phospliorus has 
disappeared, and the pecuhar smell has ceased. Carbonic acid is 
then to be passed through to separate the excess of caustic lime, the 

Chemical Science, 207 

insoluble parts separated by the filter, and the solution evaporated 
under the air-pump, or in close vessels by heat. It then crystallizes 
with more or less water, according to circumstances, those obtained 
by heat having the least. 

The hypo-phosphites of baryta and strontia may be prepared in 
the same way, and have the same general properties : these earthy 
salts are insoluble in alcohol. 

The alkaline salts of this class may be made either directly or by 
mixing hypo-phosphite of lime with excess of the alkaline carbonate, 
filtering, evaporating to dryness, and digesting in alcohol, the alka- 
line hypo-phosphites are dissolved. The potash salt is the most de^ 
liquescent salt known to M. Rose, but may be dried under the air- 
pump by sulphuric acid ; the soda salt is less deliquescent, and cry- 
stallizes in rectangular prisms. The salt of ammonia differs a little 
from the others, principally in the action of heat ; for whilst all the 
other salts when heated first lose water, and are then converted 
into phosphates with the evolution of phosphuretted hydrogen, 
this allows ammonia to rise, and there remain hypo-phosphorus 
acid and water, which ultimately produce phosphuretted hydrogen 
and phosphoric acid. 

By boiling the oxalate of magnesia for a long time with the 
hypo-phosphite of lime, filtering and evaporating the Hquid, large 
regular nacreous octoedral crystals of the magnesia salt were ob- 
tained, containing 54.92 per cent, of water. The salts of alumine 
and glucina appeared, when dry, like gum. Crystals of the cobalt 
salt were most readily obtained, and were exceedingly beautiful ; 
they were red, octoHdral, efflorescent, and contained 49.35 per cent, 
of water. 

All the hypo-phosphites are soluble in water. 

The hypo-phosphorus acid was obtained pure and in quantity, by 
boiling the hydrate of baryta with water and phosphorus, until all 
garlic odour ceased ; filtering the liquid, and decomposing it by 
sulphuric acid in excess, separating the precipitate, and digesting 
the clear fluid for a short time with an excess of oxide of lead ; then 
filtering the sulphate of lead from the solution of hypo-phosphite, 
and decomposing the latter by a current of sulphuretted hydrogen. 
The acid freed from the sulphuret of lead was then concentrated, 
until strong enough to form the required salts. — Bull. Univ. A. ix, 
p. 37. 

15. On Pyro'phorus. — M. Gay-Lussac has made certain experi- 
ments on pyrophorus, with the intention of determining its nature 
more distinctly than has yet been done, and has arrived at a method 
of preparing one much more powerful than that ordinarily made from 
alum, yet producingits effects in the same way. A mixture of alum and 
lamp-black, heated in an earthenware retort, gave at first a mixture 
of nearly equal parts of carbonic and sulphurous acids, then pure 
carbonic acid gas ; at a later period oxide of carbon appeared, and 

208 Miscellaneous Tntelllgence. 

ultimately predominated : small quantities of other unimportant sub- 
stances were formed. The pyrophorus obtained burnt well, evolving 
much sulphurous acid, hence a poly-sulphuret of potassium must 
have been produced. The excess of sulphur must have been de- 
rived from the sulphuric acid of the sulphate of alumina, and evi- 
dently from the latter portions only. Evidently no free potassium 
can exist in the pyrophorus ; and the same fact is proved by the 
action of water upon it, which produces no hydrogen. 

Charcoal is not necessary to the pyrophorus, for when only so 
much was used as was sufficient to decompose the alum suffi- 
ciently, without leaving any excess in the pyrophorus, still the lat- 
ter burnt well, and left a grayish-white residue. Nor is the 
alumine necessary ; for using an atom of sulphate of potash, and 
3 of sulphate of magnesia, instead of alum, good pyrophorus was 

Considering that the alumina and the magnesia were merely 
useful in dividing the sulphuret of potassium existing in pyropho- 
rus, which is the essentially active ingredient, and that their places 
might be filled by charcoal itself; a mixture of 1 atom of sulphate 
of potash and 4 of lamp-black was made and heated ; only an aggluti- 
nated sulphuret was obtained, which did not inflame in the air ; 
but, doubling the proportion of charcoal *, a pyrophorus was 
obtained, so combustible, as not to bear transferring without diffi- 
culty and danger. 

Tliis pyrophorus produced no sulphurous acid during combus- 
tion, but a neutral sulphate of potash ; dissolved in water it gave, 
with acids, sulphuretted hydrogen, and a deposit of sulphur. Hence 
it is not a single sulphuret of potassium, but a poly-sulphuret, 
and, consequently, a part of the potassium is uncombined with sul- 
phur. This potassium is not free, for no hydrogen is produced in 
water, and therefore it must be combined with oxygen ; nor, 
indeed, does the pyrophorus require a moist atmosphere, but burns 
equally well in dry air. The charcoal does not appear to be in 
combination either with sulphur or potassium, for the solution in 
water does not differ from that of a sulphuret without charcoal ; 
and the charcoal which falls to the bottom of the solution has not 
that state of division which indicates an anterior state of combi- 

Sulphate of soda in equivalent proportions gave an equally 
powerful pyrophorus, but sulphate of baryta did not. The new 
pyrophorus owes its superiority over that ordinarily prepared, to its 
more intimately divided state ; to the absence of inactive earthy 
matter ; and the smaller proportion of sulphur. 

A high temperature did not improve this substance ; an ordinary 
portable furnace was used, but great care was taken to prevent the 
access of air during the cooling. — Ann. de Chimie, xxxvii. 415. 

• By weight about 1 of lamp-black and 2 of the sulphate of potash. 

Chemical Science. 209 

16. Test of Potash by Nickdy before the blow-pipe. — For an ac- 
count of this test, seepage 483 of the last volume. Berzelius com- 
mends it: — he says it is only necessary to dissolve the oxide of nickel 
in borax by heat, and to add to the vitreous matter before the blow- 
pipe a little nitre, felspar, or other body containing" potash, to obtain 
instantly a blue glass. The presence of soda does not prevent 
this action. The nitrate or oxalate of nickel may be employed, but 
the absence of cobalt must be ensured. — Ann. der Physik. 

17. New Variety of Borax. — Since M. Payen has published his 
account of a new kind of borax (see page 483 of the last volume), 
M. Buran has laid claim to the discovery, and a contest has arisen 
which could only be, settled by a committee appointed on purpose. 
It appears that M. Buran has known the method of manufacturing 
this kind of borax and its nature for some years, but kept it a secret 
because it gave him a commercial advantage ; such borax being in 
request by jewellers and others as he, until lately,* had the exclusive 
power of making : — and so it is settled that M. Buran has the priority 
of the commercial discovery, but that M. Payen should be honoured 
as the true discoverer, since he only has advanced the interests of 
science by making that known to others which was not known to 
them before. 

M. Buran has observed and now made known a curious fact, 
namely, that ebullition for many hours is necessary to obtain a large 
quantity of the octoedral borax, a fact fully confirmed by the experi- 
ments of the commissioners. They also find that when the octoedral 
borax is dissolved, it tends to give more octoedral borax without 
boiling than ordinary borax under the same circumstances. — Ann. 
de Chimie^ xxxvii. 419. 

18. Mutual Action of Nitre and Sal- Ammoniac. — Preparation 
of Nitrogen. — From repeated experiments, M. Soubeiran finds that 
these salts when mixed do not give nitrous oxide on the application 
of heat, as might have been expected, supposing that muriate of 
potash and nitrate of ammonia had been formed, and as has, in fact, 
been stated ; but that the results are chloride of potassium, water, 
chlorine, muriatic acid, a little nitrous acid and azote. The latter 
gas may even be prepared in this way ; for tlie decomposition is 
easily effected, and a small quantity of the mixed salts yields much 
gas. The gas must be collected over water, and washed with a 
little potash, to separate all the chlorine and nitrous acid. The best 
proportions are one part of muriate of ammonia, and two parts of 
nitrate of potash. — Jour, de Phar. 1827, p. 321. 

19. Preparation and Projyeriies of Aluminmny 8^'c. — It is now 
sometime since M. (Ersted's discovery of an easy method of prepar- 
ing a chloride of aluminum, and from that the metal aluminum was 
announced.* M. Woehler has since pursued this subject, and 

* See vol. ii. New Series, p. 474. 
JULY^SEPT. 1828. P 

210 Miscellaneous Intelligence, 

added much to that which was previously known. Alumina which 
had been precipitated from alum by excess of carbonate of potash, 
and well washed and dried, was made into a paste with powdered 
charcoal, suajar, and oil, and heated in a crucible ; a porcelain tube 
was filled with the hot product, and then placed in a long furnace ; 
one end of the tube was connected with another tube, containing 
fused chloride of calcium, and this, with an apparatus for the evolu- 
tion of chlorine, the other end of the porcelain tube entered a small 
tubulated receiver, furnished with a conducting tube. When the 
apparatus was full of chlorine, the tube was made red hot, and the 
evolution of chlorine continued. Chloride of aluminum was readily 
formed ; it was long retained by the mass of matter, but a part 
passed over into the receiver as a powder, whilst a little escaped 
with the gas (oxide of carbon). After 1^ hour, the chloride ob- 
structed the end of the tube, and on taking down the apparatus, 
more than an ounce was found in that part of the tube within the 
furnace. Part was an aggregated mass, and a portion in long crys- 
tals. It easily separated from the tube, was of a pale yellowish green 
colour, semi-transparent, lamellated, and distinctly crystaUine. In 
the air it fumed a little, evolved the odour of muriatic acid, and 
rapidly deliquesced. In water it dissolved rapidly, hissing and pro- 
ducing great heat. Its fusing and vaporizing points are close 
together. It may be preserved in naphtha: heated in it it liquefies 
and collects at the bottom as a reddish brown hquid, on which 
potassium has no action. 

The chloride may, however, be reduced by potassium in the fol- 
lowing manner. Into a small platina crucilDle are to be put 9 or 10 
small pieces of potassium, about the size of a pea each, and upon 
the man equalnumber of similar pieces of chloride of aluminum ; the 
crucible is then to be covered, and the cover confined by a platina 
wire. Heat must be applied, gently at first : at the moment of re- 
duction the crucible becomes red hot ; then the heat of the lamp is 
to be increased, as the action diminishes, for a short time. The 
reduced mass is generally completely fused, and is of a blackish 
gray colour. When cold it is to be thrown into a large quantity of 
water ; a gray powder separates, looking in the sunshine hke small 
metallic plates : it is to be washed in cold water and dried. This 
is aluminum. 

The reduction may be effected in a covered porcelain crucible. 
Excess of potassium should be avoided, as it tends, when oxidized, 
to dissolve a portion of the metal. The platina crucible used is but 
little acted upon. 

Ahiminiini resembles platina in powder, but some particles have 
the colour and splendour of tin. "When burnished, it looks like tin. 
Rubbed in a mortar it appears to be compressible, unites into larger 
scales with a metallic lustre, and leaves a metallic trace on the 
mortar. When heated in the air, it burns violently into a white 
hard mass of alumina. When the powder is thrown into a flame, 
each particle burns brilliantly. Heated to redness, in pure oxygen, 

Chemical Science. 211 

the combustion dazzles the eyes, and the mass left is more or less 
fused; the fused particles are yellowish, hard as corundum and 
cut glass. 

Aluminum is not oxidized by water, unless it be near the boiling 
point ; then slow action takes place, and hydrogen is liberated. 
Cold sulphuric and nitric acids do not act upon it ; hot concentrated 
sulphuric acid dissolves it without the evolution of sulphurous acid. 
The sulphuric solution did not by evaporation give the smallest 
crystal of alum. Solution of potash or ammonia cause oxidation of 
the aluminum, evolve hydrogen, and dissolve the earth formed. 
Aluminum heated in chlorine inflames, and chloride of aluminum 

Sulphur and aluminum combine at high temperatures to form a 
black semi-metallic sulphuret, which, by the action of water, evolves 
sulphuretted hydrogen, and leaves gray alumina. Sulphate of 
alumina cannot be reduced by hydrogen into a sulphuret. 

A similar compound of phosphorus may be formed in a similar 
way, and has similar appearances. It is also decomposed by water, 
but not rapidly. A seleniuret, an arseniuret, and a telluret may be 
formed in the same way. 

The chloride of aluminum and sulphuretted hydrogen combine, at 
an elevated temperature, and a very white sublimate is formed, partly 
in transparent pearly scales, and partly as a brittle mass. In the air, 
sulphuretted hydrogen is evolved, water attracted, and a chloride of 
aluminum remains in solution ; by heat, from 30 to 40 volumes of 
sulphuretted hydrogen appear for one volume of the compound, and 
much must still be retained, as the affinity is exerted only at a high 
temperature. — Hensman's Repertoire, — Phil. Mag. N. S., iv. 148. 

20. Chloride of Glucinum. — (Ersted showed generally that chlo- 
rides might be obtained by passing chlorine over an oxide and char- 
coal heated together, and in that way obtained a chloride of alumi- 
num, from which the base aluminum has since been obtained. Rose 
has formed the Chloride of Glucinum by the same process. It very 
much resembles the chloride of aluminum, sublimes in white floculi 
having a silky lustre, is fusible by a low heat into brown drops, and 
is soluble in water. 

^1. Metallic Cerium^M. Mosander. — Previous to the time of M. 
Mosander, metallic cerium had not been obtained ; and being ob- 
tained, it proves to be a substance nearer to the earthy than to the 
ordinary metals, for it decomposes water even at low temperatures. 
Whefher it is a metal at all or not seems doubtful, if it be, as M. 
Mosander states, a non-conductor of electricity. He obtains it by 
decomposing the chloride by the vapour of potassium ; a layer of 
sulphuret of cerium is put into a glass tube, heated, and converted 
into a fusible white chloride of cerium, by passing chlorine over 
it at a high temperature. The volatile matters are theu swept 

P 2 

212 Miscellaneous Intelligence, 

away by a current of hydrogen applied whilst the tube is heated, 
and then pieces of potassium are introduced, and the tube being 
again heated, their vapours are carried over the cliloride, which is 
reduced more or less powerfully by the operation. The substance 
obtained is to be rapidly washed in alcohol, of specific gravity 0.85, 
to remove chloride of potassium, then pressed between paper, and 
dried in vacuo. It is a rose, or chocolate-brown powder, containing 
more or less oxide resulting from the action of the alcohol ; it gene- 
rally resembles silicium in appearance ; it smells of hydrogen ; in 
boiling water rapidly disengages hydrogen, and in cold water evolves 
it also, but more slowly ; by friction it acquires a dull lustre ; it is 
a non-conductor of electricity ; when heated in the air it takes fire, 
long before the temperature has risen to redness, and burns vividly 
into oxide ; heated with chlorate of potash, or with nitre, it deto- 
nates violently. It does not combine with melted sulphur, but 
burns in the vapour of sulphur ; it is not acted upon by phosphorus ; 
it burns vividly when heated in chlorine. 

The sulphuret is best made by passing the vapour of sulphuret of 
carbon over it at a red heat ; it is a red powder, having an appear- 
ance between cinnaber and minium ; it may be made by heating 1 
part of oxide of cerium and 3 parts of sulphuret of potash to red- 
ness, for half an hour. 

Carburet of Cerium. — The oxalate of cerium is to be decomposed at 
a moderate temperature, in a close apparatus, and the greyish-black 
powder obtained digested in muriatic acid ; chlorine is evolved, 
and a heavy brown-black powder deposited, which, being washed 
and dried, is the carburet of cerium. Heated in the air, it burns 
vividly into oxide of cerium, without any appreciable change of 
weight. — Ann. der Phys. 1827, 406. — Bull. Univ. A. x. 64. 

22. JJseofChameleonMineralformarking Linen. — In many large 
establishments linen requires to be marked quickly, permanently and 
economically. The following is a process recommended in France : 
Prepare a chameleon mineral, by heating a mixture of 1 part oxide 
of manganese of commerce, and 2 parts of nitre, or common potash, 
to redness ; the green substance obtained is to be preserved in dry 
bottles, as it changes in the air. When required for use, it is to be 
powdered, and mixed with its weight of pipe-clay, and then water 
added, to make a very thin paste. It is this mixture which is to be 
applied to the linen, either by a brush, or a stamp, or in the manner 
of stencilling, or even by a pen, if it be made thin, and used quickly. 
The green paste quickly changes to brown on the linen, and the 
latter being washed about half an hour afterwards, the loose par- 
ticles and the potash are removed, and the marks left of a deep 
brown colour. This writing perfectly resists the action of alkaline 
lixivia, even though strong ; it also resists soap and weak acids : 
hence the process may be useful to calico-printers. The operation 
depends upon the reduction of the manganesic acid in the chameleon 

Chemical Science, itS 

mineral to the state of oxide bj' any organized matter. The same 
circumstance renders it necessary to keep the substance from the 
contact of such bodies, and it is in its best state when recently pre- 
pared. — (J. D.) An?i. de VInduslrie, i. 309. 

23. Reduction of Oxide of Copper by Iron and JVater. — Mr. 
J. Malin, a worker of copper and iron plate, has had occasion to 
remark that iron chippin<^s, which have accidentally fallen into a 
vessel of water in which copper-plates had been previously quenched 
and scaled, became, after some time, covered with copper, so as to 
have every appearance of metallic copper. This easy reduction, he 
tliinks, may be useful to those who work in both metals. — Franklin 

24. Separation of Silver and Copper.— 'The, amalgam obtained 
at the silver works of Freyberg-, leaves, when decomposed by heat, 
an alloy of silver, copper, and other metals; the latter used to be 
separated from the silver by boiling and dissolving the whole in 
strong sulphuric acid, and then precipitating the silver. Of late a 
process altogether new has been introduced. The alloy is now 
heated in a reverberatory furnace, exposed to air, so as to oxidize 
the copper, and is afterwards put into cauldrons of lead, and heated 
with dilute sulphuric acid, which dissolves the oxide of copper previ- 
ously formed ; the operations of roasting and digesting are repeated 
once or twice, and many precautions are requisite to obtain a good 
result, but these being attended to, the process is much more econo- 
mical than the ancient one. The silver is not so pure, retaining 
about -j'y of copper; but this is of no consequence for ordinary uses. 
'—Ann. des Mines^ iii. 15. 

25. Solubility of Sulphate of Lead. — Nitrate and acetate of am- 
monia dissolve sulphate of lead, the latter in considerable propor- 
tion, so as even to be useful in analysis for the separation of sul- 
phate of lead from other insoluble sulphates. At the temperature of 
55° Fahr., one part of sulphate of lead is dissolved by 969 parts of 
a solution of nitrate of ammonia, of specific gravity 1.29 ; and by 
only 47 parts of a solution of acetate of ammonia, of a sp. gr. 1.036. 
The same quantity is dissolved by 172 parts of nitric acid, sp. gr. 
1.144. The dissolving power of nitric acid does not appear to be 
diminished by dilution ; the best precipitate in such a case is free 
sulphuric acid, and not the sulphates of potash or soda. — Bischolri 
Jahrb. dcr Chem. 1827. 

26. Use of Red Sulphuret of Arsenic^ or Realgar, in Dyeing. — M. 
H. Labillardiere states, that many useful colours may be obtained 
from this substance. The colours are compounds of the sulphuret 
with oxide of lead, and may, according to M. Berzelius's explanation, 
be qonsidered as salts, in which the sulphuret plays the part of an 

214 Miscellaneous Intelligence, 

acid : for when the sulphuret is dissolved in an alkali, and then 
mixed with a solution of copper, lead, or iron, the sulphuret forms an 
insoluble precipitate, in combination with the oxide present. The 
oxide of lead is the substance which M. Labillardiere has used as 
his mordant ; the acetate of lead, minj^led with a little acetic acid, 
and thickened with roasted starch, is printed on the fabric. The 
bath is made by boiling three ounces of realgar, two ounces of 
potash, and one of slaked hme, in a pot with water, and being- mo- 
dified gives various colours. Thus calico, printed with acetate of 
lead, being immersed cold in this bath, with a certain quantity of 
ordinary potash, to be ascertained by experience, acquires a red 
orange colour ; with caustic potash in certain proportions, a reddish 
brown is obtained; in larger proportion a brown colour is produced, 
if the temperature be not raised; if heat be apphed, black and 
many other colours are produced, according to the quantities, the 
temperature, &c. 

In other cases the cotton has been dyed all over, and then printed 
upon ; subacetate of lead is the mordant to be used in that case. 
The method of printing on these colours, which resist mere acids 
and alkalies, is to print a thickened solution of chromate of pot- 
ash, and then to pass the w^eb through water acidulated by muria- 
tic acid ; the printed places become first yellow (chromate of lead), 
and in a few minutes after white, without any change being pro- 
duced in the ground colour. — Ann. de V Industrie, i. 178. 

27. Opaque and Transparent IVhite Arsenic. — Relative to the 
way in which transparent masses of white arsenic become opaque, 
M. Kruger has made a few experiments, which seem to show that 
the change depends upon the formation of a hydrate. A tran- 
sparent piece put under a bell-glass containing air, confined over 
mercury, underwent no change in appearance or weight. Another 
piece put into air confined over water became opaque on the sur- 
face in a few days, and throughout in five weeks ; at first it weighed 
16.3 grain, and at last 16.4 grains. — Kastner's Archives. — Bull, 
Univ. A. X. 18. 

28. Reduction of Sulphuret of Arsenic. — Sulphuret of arsenic is 
occasionally required to be reduced, when in very small quantities, 
in medico-chemical investigations. Berzelius remarks, that it may 
frequently be successfully performed, by putting it at the bottom of 
a small glass-tube, placing a small piece of steel-wire before it, and 
subliming it over the latter ; the iron takes the sulphur ; the arsenic 
condenses a little in advance. When the quantities are very small, 
this process sometimes fails ; then Berzelius recommends the fol- 
lowing: — The sulphuret is to be introduced into an open quill 
glass-tube, about four or five inches long, and being held obliquely, 
thus *^, is to be heated by a spirit-lamp, so that the hottest part 
shall be a little above the sulphuret, and the vapour be obliged to 

Chemical Science, 21S 

pass by it ; the operation should be conducted slowly ; the sulphur 
will burn into sulphurous acid and escape, and the arsenic into 
arsenious acid, which will condense in the upper cool part in crys- 
tals. The tube is then to be softened in the lamp, and drawn out 
below the arsenious acid ; a little piece of charcoal is to be intro- 
duced, and then the arsenious acid passed across it in vapour, to the 
narrow elongated part of the tube ; it will be reduced by the charcoal 
in its passage, and metallic arsenic will appear. This process never 
fails. — Annalen der Physikf 1828, 158. 

29. Oil a new use of the Chromate of Potash, hy M. Kaechlin- 
Schouch. — This use of the chromate is to print a white pattern on 
a blue or green ground. A blue colour is first given to the cloth 
by means of the indigo-vat, more or less deep according to the 
green required ; the cloth is then prepared with the aluminous 
mordant, and passed through hot water ; it is then again prepared 
with an uugummed solution of bi-chromate of potash, consisting of 
2 J ounces of salt to 4 pints of water. It is then printed with the 
following preparation ; 

Water thickened by roasted starch . 4 pounds 
Tartaric acid . . .10 ounces 

Oxalic acid , . , . 6 ounces 

Nitric acid ... .2 ounces 

The nitric acid is unnecessary, except for delicate designs. The 
moment this substance is printed, the blue colour is destroyed ; the 
cloth is instantly put into running water, and afterwards dyed in 
quercitron, or other dye stuffs. 

This destruction of vegetable colour arises fi'om the following 
general fact : whenever chromate of potash is mingled with tartaric 
or oxalic acid, or with a neutral vegetable substance and a mineral 
acid, as the sulphuric or the nitric, a strong action takes place, 
accompanied with the disengagement of heat and gaseous sub- 
stances. The principal product of this reciprocal action is a new 
body having acid properties. During the effervescence which takes 
place, the mixture has the power of destroying vegetable colours. 
Carbonic acid is evolved during the decomposition ; and when the 
mixture is made in a retort, there comes over a colourless liquid, 
slightly acid, having the odour of weak acetic acid, and reducing 
the nitrates of silver or mercury if heated with them (formic acid?). 

When 9 parts of tartaric acid and 10 parts of chromate of potash 
are boiled with water, a neutral green liquid is obtained, which, 
being evaporated, does not crystallize, but become a brittle green 
mass. When acetate of lead is added to the solution, a precipitate 
is formed, which being well washed and then carefully decomposed 
by sulphuric acid, yields a very acid green fluid, uncrystallizable, 
and with alkalies forming either acid greenish violet salts or neutral 
green salts. Cold sulphuric or nitric acids do not act upon this 
pubstance ; but, being heated, they decompose it. When the acid 

216 Miscellaneous Intelligence. 

itself is calcined, it yields green oxide of chrome. — Ann. de VIndus. 
i. 121. 

30. Chloride of Silver and Sodium. — When pulverized chloride 
of silver is boiled in a nearly saturated solution of common salt, a 
compound of the two substances is produced, which crystallizes as 
the temperature falls. The crystals are not affected by light, and 
are decomposed by water. The solvent powers of the chloride of 
sodium over chloride of silver may be usefully employed in analysis. 
Similar compounds may be obtained by using the chlorides of 
potassium or calcium. — Wetzlar, Jahrb. der Chemie, 1827. 

31. Nitrate and Sulphate of Ammonia and Silver. — The nitrate 
of silver and ammonia is easily obtained by adding ammonia to the 
nitrate of silver. The salt is very soluble, readily crystallizes, and 
consists of 

Nitric acid . . . 2641 , 

Oxide of silver . . . 55o| ^ ^^^"^ 
Ammonia . . . 180 2 atoms 

The triple sulphate of ammonia and silver is formed in a similar 
way. It is very soluble, crystallizable, and consists of 
Sulphuric acid . . 21601 , 

Oxide of Silver . . 6065] ^ ^^^"^ 

Ammonia . . . 1940 2 atoms 

Ann. des Mines, N. S., iii. 175. 

32. Artificial production of Ultramarine. — A short time since it 
was announced in the journals that M. Guimet had succeeded in 
manufacturing ultramarine. The announcement has drawn from 
M. Gmelin, of Tubinjen, a note, in which he describes a method of 
making ultramarine, and expresses regret that, from an indiscretion 
of his own, he should have been anticipated. It appears, however, 
that his regret is without foundation ; it is the more so, as every 
body will be ready to admit that he is the true discoverer of the 
artificial production of ultramarine, i.e., provided it can be made by 
his process, since he is the first to publish that knowledge to the 
scientific world in such a manner as truly to constitute a discovery. 
M. Guimet, like M. Buran with borax, has resigned (as he had a 
right to do) the honour, which could only be obtained by a partial 
sacrifice of his pecuniary interests. 

M. Gmelin was led to consider sulphur as the colouring matter of 
ultramarine, and from an observation by M. Tassaert (Ami. de 
Chimie, Ixxxix. 88) concluded that it might be made artifici- 
ally. M- Tassajrt had remarked the formation of a substance like 
ultramarine in a furnace used in the manufacture of soda. The 
following is the method by which ultramarine may be infallibly pre- 
pared. Pulverised quartz is to be fused with four times its weight 

Chemical Science. 217 

of carbonate of soda, the mass dissolved in water, and then preci- 
pated by muriatic acid ; thus a hydrate of silica will be formed. A 
hydrate of alumina is to be prepared by precipitating alum by 
ammonia. These two earths are to be carefully washed with 
boiling water ; the proportion of dry earth in each is then to be 
ascertained by heating a small quantity and weighing it. The 
hydrate of silica used by M. GmeHn contained 56 per cent., and the 
hydrate of alumina 3.24 per cent. 

As much hydrate of silica is then to be dissolved in a hot solution 
of caustic soda as it will take up, and the quantity determined ; then 
such proportion is to be taken as contains 72 parts of anhydrous 
silica and a quantity of the hydrate of alumina, equivalent to 70 
parts of dry alumina added to it, and the whole evaporated toge- 
ther, being continually stirred, until it becomes a damp powder. 

This combination of silica, alumina, and soda, is the basis of 
ultramarine, and is now to be coloured by a sulphuret of sodium in 
the following manner. A mixture of 2 parts of sulphur with 1 part 
of anhydrous carbonate of soda is to be put into a Hessian crucible, 
covered up, and then gradually raised to a red heat until it is well 
fused ; then the mixture is to be thrown in very small quantities at 
a time into the midst of the fused mass. As soon as the effer- 
vescence occasioned by the water in one portion has ceased, ano- 
ther portion is to be added. Having retained the crucible at a 
moderate red heat for an hour, it is to be removed from the fire 
and allowed to cool. It now contains ultramarine, mixed with 
excess of sulphuret : the latter may be separated by water. If 
sulphur is in excess, a moderate heat will dissipate it. If all the 
parts are not equally coloured, a selection should be made, and then 
the substance reduced to fine powder. — A?in. de Chimiey xxxvii. 409. 

33. On an economical Method of dissolving Metals in Acids in the 
Manufacture of certain Metallic Salts, by M. Berard. — The method 
which M. Berard describes is founded upon the rapid effect of ox- 
idation which takes place when certain metals are exposed to air 
and moisture, or air and acids at the same time. These effects have 
long been known, but have not been hitherto applied : ordinarily, 
when me'.als are to be dissolved in acids, they are oxidized in the 
first place by air and heat, or else are converted into oxides during 
the act of solution, at the expense of the water or the acids, and the 
processes are often inconvenient and expensive. 

M. Berard's method consists in granulating or laminating the 
metal, then putting it into vessels, so as to expose as much surface 
to air as possible ; afterwards filling the vessels with the acid in 
which the solution is to be effected, which acid must be diluted; 
then withdrawing the acid, and leaving the moistened metal in con- 
tact with the air. The oxidation proceeds with such energy that 
much heat is generally evolved. After 10 or 12 hours, the acid is 
pgain put upon the metjil, anc[ being left for an hour or two readily 

218 Miscellaiiebuh Intelligence, 

dissolves the oxide formed : bein^ again withdrawn, the oxidation 
recommences, and proceeds as before ; and operating thus, in a very 
few days the acid is entirely saturated. 

This process was proposed by M. Berard, sen., many years ago, for 
the solution of tin in muriatic acid ; and at present three important 
applications of it are made in the manufactory at Montpellier, in 
the preparation of blue vitriol, muriate of tin, and acetate of lead. 

In the preparation of blue vitriol, 4 or 5 leaden vessels are filled 
with pieces of laminated copper, as old copper, sheathing, &c. The 
metal in all the cases is moistened with weak sulphuric acid (sp. gr. 
1.114 to 1.155), and left exposed to air for some time; then the 
first vessel is filled with similar acid, which, after a few hours, is 
transferred to the second vessel, then to the third, and so on in suc- 
cession, until the hydrometer shews that it is saturated, or nearly so, 
with oxide. By this method a solution may be obtained, which 
does not require to be evaporated to less than one half before it will 
yield fine crystals ; they are scarcely acid, and are consequently free 
from iron. 

In the preparation of muriate of tin, the granulated tin is put 
into vessels of glass or earthenware, and muriatic acid poured upon 
it ; action immediately commences, and hydrogen is evolved : if, 
after a short time, the acid is withdrawn and the vessels left open, 
at the same time that the moistening acid acts, evolving hydrogen, 
so great a portion of the oxygen of the air combines with the metal 
that the whole heats powerfully. On restoring the acid to the 
metal, it dissolves more oxide than it would have done without the 
use of the air, even though heat had been applied. By trans- 
ferring the acid to be saturated from one vessel to another, a solu- 
tion of proto-muriate of tin is quickly obtained, which merely 
requires a little evaporation to yield the salt in very fine white 

Acetate of lead is usually made by dissolving litharge in acetic 
acid, more or less diluted. In M. Berard's manufactory, the lead 
is granulated in as thin portions as possible, and a wooden vessel, 
as the half of a cask, filled with it ; it is then moistened with weak 
acetic acid (distilled vinegar), and the tub covered with a board. 
In a few minutes, so much heat is evolved, that acetic acid is vola- 
tilized: more acid, then poured upon the lead, dissolves a large 
quantity of oxide; and by two or three such operations, not only a 
solution of the acetate, but of the subacetate may be obtained. The 
operation is so quick that three or four tubes suffice to supply a 
large quantity of the acetate. The solution is then evaporated in 
copper vessels, with the usual precautions : the mother liquor is 
evaporated with fresh solutions, and when, by these repeated ope- 
rations, it becomes too coloured, it may be cleansed by the use of 
animal charcoal, like sugar. 

M. Berard has no doubt that a similar process might be eco- 
nomically adopted in the manufacture of verdigris in the central 

Chemical Science, 219 

parts of France, and also in the manufacture of cenise, as at pre- 
sent carried on in Holland. — Aim, de I' Industrie, i. 78. 

84. Infusible Crucible. — M. Deyeux has manufactured crucibles 
surpassing: even those from Saxony in their infusibility. MM. The- 
nard, Lassagne, and Baruel testify to their superiority. 2ilbs. of 
pure iron has been fused in one at once, without the crucible suf- 
fering any injury. The manufactory is at Mouchy Saint Eloy, 
department de I'Oise ; but the depot is at Paris, Rue Garanciere, 
No. 7. — Jnn. de Chimie, xxxvii. 443. 

Pure iron has often been fused in Cornish crucibles, at the iron 
works, without the vessels suffering injury, but perhaps not in so 
large a quantity as that above, merely because there was no occa- 
sion for it. The power of retaining fused iron, though a test of 
goodness, is not a sufficient test of superiority. — Ed. 

35. Sugar of Liquorice — Glycyrrhiza glabra. — ^The peculiar 
principle in the root of this plant has been long known. Dobe- 
runer and Robiquet have given processes for its separation. The 
following is by M. Berze»lius. The cut root is to be infused in 
boiling water ; the cold filtered infusion is to have sulphuric acid 
added in small quantities, until no further precipitate is formed. The 
precipitate is a compound of the acid with the saccharine matter, 
and is to be washed at first with acidulated cold water, and then 
with pure water, until no free acid appears. The precipitate is to 
be digested with alcohol, which leaves certain impurities, and then 
pulverized carbonate of potash or soda is to be added to the solu- 
tion, until it is neutral ; the clear liquor is to be decanted and 
evaporated. It is desirable to have a small excess of acid present, 
for which purpose put a little of the alcoholic liquor on one side, to 
be added at last to the neutral portion, and then leave the whole at 
rest, that the sulphate of potash may separate before the evapora- 
tion is effected. 

The saccharine principle is a transparent yellow mass breaking like 
amber. Being heated it melts, and burns with a bright flame and 
much smoke. In powder it burns like resin or lycopodium. It 
does not change in the air. Its aqueous solution is precipitated by 
all the acidsy and the more completely the stronger is the solution. 
The precipitates have no acid taste, but are sweet ; they dissolve 
in water, and gelatinize upon cooling, if the solutions are strong. 

This substance also combines readily with bases forming soluble 
neutral solutions ; those with baryta and lime are not precipitated 
by carbonic acid. This principle forms insoluble compounds with 
metallic acids and many metallic oxides. It combines also with 
many salts, causing their precipitation in some cases. 

The saccharine principle of the root of the wild liquorice (poly- 
podium vulgarej is altogether different in its qualities from the 
above substance. 

!^20 Miscellaneous Intelligence, 

36. Oil the Preparation of Tannin. — According to M. Berze- 
lius, tannin is not in the very impure state, in an infusion of galls, 
generally supposed. He prepares it pure in two ways, either by 
the action of sulphuric acid, or of carbonate of potash. First me- 
thod. A hot infusion of gall-nuts is to be filtered through a cloth, 
a very small quantity of weak sulphuric acid added, and the whole 
well mixed ; the coagulum formed is to be separated, and the liquid 
filtered. Sulphuric acid, diluted with half its weight of water, is to 
be added in small quantities with agitation ; the precipitate, after 
an hour* s rest, acquires a half-fluid glutinous state ; then the fluid 
is to be decanted, and carefully mixed with concentrated sulphuric 
acid, as long as any precipitate is formed. It is a compound of 
sulphuric acid and tannin, yellowish-white, and insoluble in a weak 
acid. Being put on a filter, it is to be washed with diluted sul- 
phuric acid, pressed between bibulous paper, dissolved in pure 
water, and carbonate of lead in fine powder added to the fluid, 
until the free sulphuric acid is neutralized ; ebullition for a short 
time also removes the acid combined with the tannin ; perfect satura- 
tion is indicated by the deep yellow colour taken by the solution. 
The filtered fluid is to be evaporated carefully to dryness in an air- 
pump if possible ; the brown extract obtained pulverized, and 
digested in ether, at a temperature of 86° Fahr. The ethereal solu- 
tion evaporated yields a pale yellow transparent substance, which is 
pure tannin. It suffers no change in the air. 

Second method. A concentrated solution of carbonate of potash 
is to be added to a filtered infusion of galls, only as long as a white 
precipitate is formed. The precipitate is to be washed on a filter 
with ice-cold water, and then dissolved in weak acetic acid. By 
filtration a brown matter is separated ; the clear fluid is to be pre- 
cipitated by acetate of lead ; the compound of tannin and oxide of 
lead washed, and then decomposed by sulphuretted hydrogen. The 
filtered liquid is then colourless, and being evaporated under the 
air-pump receiver, gives transparent yellowish hard scales, which, 
treated with ether as before, yield pure tannin. 

Pure tannin is colourless, but sometimes becomes coloured by 
alteration in the air ; it is not deliquescent, is easily pulverized, 
and dissolves readily in water. By distillation it yields no ammo- 
nia, but a yellow oil and a liquid, which, on cooling, deposit 
crystals different from those of gallic acid ; they have a hot taste, 
and colour or precipitate salts of iron of a yellowish or grayish 

The combinations of tannin with acids, when exactly saturated, 
have no sourness, but a pure astringent taste. AVhen pure, they 
are usually very soluble in water, and precipitated only by a great 
excess of acid. With salifiable bases, tannin forms very curious 
compounds. The neutral compound, v/ith potash or ammonia, is 
little soluble in cold water, more so in hot, separating from the 
latter, as the temperature diminishes, in the form of a white powr 

Chemical Science. 221 

der, which, put in the filter, pressed and dried, looks like an earthy 
salt, and remains unchanged in the air. When moist it forms 
extract by means of the air. The combination with soda is much 
more soluble. 

M. Berzelius then describes the tannin obtained from various other 
sources, as catechu, gum kino, cinchona, witli their processes, and 
states that these kinds of tannin dilfer very much from each other. — 
A/m. de Chimie^ xxxvii. 385. 

37. Vegetable Gelatine^ and Albumen. — M. Berzelius has lately 
examined gluten, and says that the gliadine and zymoma of Taddei 
are notliing else than the well known and ordinary principles of 
vegetables named above. Boil gluten with successive portions of 
alcohol until the latter ceases to become turbid upon cooling ; mix 
these solutions with water, and distil ; as the aqueous residuum cools, 
a glutinous coherent mass will separate, resembling gluten. It is 
vegetable gelatine, and the same substance as that separated by 
Einhol's process from barley, &c. The substance insoluble in 
alcohol is vegetable albumen. 

Vegetable gelatine is grayish, yellow in colour, adhesive, glutinous 
and elastic, having no taste, but a pecuhar odour. It dries into a 
transparent, shining substance. It dissolves in alcohol ; if cold 
alcoho Ibe used, a viscid foreign substance is separated, not gelatine. 
It dissolves in vinegar, leaving also a viscid insoluble matter ; when 
precipitated by an alkali, it resumes its viscid state. The mineral 
acids, with the exception of the phosphoric, form glutinous com- 
pounds insoluble until the excess of acid has been removed. This 
principle combines with and neutralizes alkalies, forming solutions, 
which, when evaporated, yield a transparent matter. Earths and 
oxides form insoluble compounds. 

Vegetable albumen is almost perfect in its resemblance to white of 
egg. It dissolves in alkalies, and when in excess, the solutions are 
neutral. It then coagulates slightly by heat, but the principal part 
is retained in solution ; it combines with acids, and when exactly 
saturated the substance remains soluble, but excess of acid (except 
the acetic and phosphoric) precipitates it. Before the action of 
potash, the vegetable albumen dissolves feebly in vinegar or phos- 
phoric acid, but by ebullition with these acids, it forms a transpa- 
rent colourless jelly of considerable volume. 

The azoted principle contained in emulsive seeds has been con- 
sidered analogous to the coagulum of milk. Souberian has shown 
that that from almonds has all the properties of white of egg; it is, 
in fact, the same substance as vegetable albumen. — Amu de Chimie, 
xxxvii. 215. 

38. Preparation of Piperine, by Mr. Carpenter. — Digest one 
pound of coarsely powdere 1 black popper in one gallo.i of alcohol 
for ten days ; distil off one hilf of th j alcohol in a water bath ; add 

222 Miscellaneous Intelligence. 

by degrees diluted muriatic acid, to hold the piperine in solution ; 
then add water sufficient to precipitate the resin and separate the 
oil, a muriate of piperine remaining in solution ; concentrate the 
solution by evaporation, and add pure potash to decompose it, and 
neutralize the acid ; when the piperine, in consequence of the di- 
luted state of the alcohol, and the absence of the muriatic acid, will 
be deposited in yellowish transparent crystals. The crystals may 
be obtained perfectly colourless, by carefully separating the oil and 
resin ; but as there is no disadvantage in the colour (for medical 
use), the additional trouble and expense would not be compensated. 
The piperine in a colourless state is insipid and inodorous, but 
united with as much resin as enters into its crystallization, its taste 
is extremely hot, possessing, in an intense degree, all the pungency 
of the pepper, with a considerable portion of its odour. 

The crystals were perfectly transparent tetrahedral prisms, with 
oblique summits, of a straw colour, and as large as the ordinary 
crystals of sulphate of magnesia. — American Journal, Med. Scie. 

39. Substitute for the Sulphate of Quinia. — Bartholomea Riga- 
telli, a chemist of Verona, says he has discovered a substance which 
may be used instead of the sulphate of quinia j but the notice 
given of it is so imperfect, that it would not be worth attention 
except that it comes from a Committee appointed by the Academy 
of Verona, and may therefore be supposed to have some foundation. 
The committee report that the saline substance spoken of is 
obtained from an indigenous plant common to all Europe ; that it is 
obtained in considerable quantities by a simple process ; that it 
consists of an acid in union with a vegetable alkali ; and that it con- 
tains nothing which can injure the health. The salt is friable, of an 
earthy appearance, and brick red colour, having a more astringent 
and bitter tasle than the sulphate of quinia; its odour is slightly 
vegetable, but scarcely perceptible. When pulverised, the powder 
is white and very soluble in water. Multiplied observations hav« 
proved that it may be successfully used in place of sulphate of 
quinia, in every case where the latter has been found advantageous.— 
Bull. Ujiiv. C. xiv. 101. 

40. Citric Acid from Gooseberries. — Mr. Tilloy has obtained 
citric acid from this fruit, at an expense less than half the usual 
price of the acid in France. The gooseberries are to be bruised 
and fermented: the alcohol formed, distilled off, and the residue 
pressed to extract the liquid. The latter is to be heated, and carbo- 
nate of lime added as long]as effervescence is occasioned ; the citrate 
.of lime is then to be collected, drained repeatedly, washed, and then 
pressed ; it is still coloured and mixed with malate of lime : it is to 
be mixed with water until of the consistence of thin syrup, heated, 
decomposed by sulphuric acid, and the whole diluted with twice its 
weight of water. The fluid separated from the precipitate is to be 

Chemical Science, 223 

ai^ain treated with carbonate of lime ; and now the precipate, when 
collected on a filter, is to be well washed, pressed, and a third time 
decomposed by sulphuric acid. The clear liquor now obtained is 
to be boiled with animal charcoal, filtered, and evaporated. When 
sufficiently concentrated, it must be allowed to deposit, and the 
fluid, when poured off, be put into stoves heated to between 68° and 
77° Fahr. Crude crystals of the citric acid will be thus obtained ; they 
are to be drained slightly, washed, and recrystallized. — Jour, de 
Phar.—Phil. Mag. M.S., iv. 153. 

41. Nature ofAloetic Acid, or the Bitter of Aloes. — M. Liebeg 
finds this substance to be a combination of carbazotic acid, and a 
particular substance having many of the properties of resins. The 
bitter of aloes may be formed in large quantity, by acting upon 
aloes with nitric acid of the specific gravity of 1.25. The substance 
obtained forms a purple salt with potash, but little soluble, and pre- 
cipitating the salts of baryta, lead, and peroxide of iron, of a deep 
purple colour. When a solution of this salt was precipitated by 
acetate of lead, the water employed to wash the precipitate had a 
yellow colour, and deposited small crystals of the same colour. These 
crystals heated in water with sulphate of potash, gave carbazotate of 
potash, and from that carbazotic acid was obtained. 

When aloes are heated with nitric acid of specific gravity 1.432, 
until the liberation of nitrous vapour ceases, and the liquid be mixed 
with a little water to separate a small quantity of bitter principle, 
then by neutralization with potash and evaporation, a large quantity 
of carbazotate of potash in fine crystals is obtained. 

Wool, morphia, narcotine, and myrrh, did not give carbazotic acid 
by treatment with nitric acid. — Ann. de Chiniie, xxxvii. 171. 

42. Preparation of Gallic Acid. — ^The following is M. Le 
Roger's method. Gall-nuts are to be exhausted by repeated decoc- 
tions, the liquid obtained concentrated and precipitated by a solution 
of jelly ; the tannin thus rendered insoluble is to be filtered out ; very 
pure animal charcoal is to be added to the liquid, and boiled with it 
for eight or ten minutes and the whole filtered, when the liquid, on 
cooling, will give pure white and silky crystals of gallic acid, 
amounting, when the best galls are used, to one-fourth of their 
weight. — Mem. de Geneve. 


43. Volatilization of Alcohol. — According to M. Soemmering 
strong alcohol yields a weaker spirit at the commencement of 
distillation than it does afterwards. With weak alcohol, the weaker 
it is the more readily is its strength increased by distillation ; on the- 
contrary, the more concentrated it is, the more difficult is it to remove 
the rest of the water. When alcohol of specific gravity 0,796 is dis- 
tilled, the weakest comes over first, and the product becomes 
stronger as the operation proceeds. — Bull, Univ. A. ix. 344. 

224 Miscellaneous Intelligence. 

The following experiments on this subject are by MM. Yelin 
and Fuchs. The first column contains the quantity of absolute 
alcohol per cent, in that which was experimented with, and the 
second the boiling point in degrees of Reaumer's scale. 

0.94 . . . C0.r;8 

0.95 . . 60.59 

0.96 . . . 60.54 

0.97 . . . 60.48 

0.98 . . . 60.48 

0.99 . . . 60 52 

1.00 . . 60.62 

From which it appears that alcohol containing 2 or 2J per cent, of 
water evaporates more readily than anhydrous alcohol, is, therefore, 
more volatile and more readily distilled. In another set of experi- 
ments alcohol of 98J per cent, was distilled at a moderate tempe- 
rature, and the products received in eight successive portions ; the 
following are the specific gravities of these portions. 

1 . . . 0.7972 or 97.86 per cent, alcohol. 

2 . . . 0.7970 

3 . . . 0.7969 

4 . . . 0.7966 

5 . . . 0.7965 

6 . . . 0.7964 

7 . . . 0.7962 

8 . . . 0.7959 or 98.32 per cent, alcohol, 
so that after the strength of 97 per cent, is obtained, the weaker 
alcohol passes first, the stronger remains in the retort ; the vola- 
tility of the alcohol is not, therefore, in direct proportion to its anhy- 
drous state or to its lightness. — Bull. Univ. A. x. 81. 

It appears, however, that none of the alcohol in the latter expe- 
riments was so strong as that put into the retort at the commence- 
ment of the experiments, consequently alcohol stronger than any 
of the products must have escaped. If this loss was due to ineffi- 
cient condensation, then some of the other effects may have been 
influenced in the same way, and consequently the above results be 
more or less incorrect, — Ed. 

44. Concentration of Alcohol by Animal Membrane. — A memoir 
was published some time since by M. Soemmering, on the evaporation 
of the water in diluted alcohol through a bladder, and the conse- 
quent concentration of the spirit. A second memoir by the same 
jjcrson has been published, in which the effects are more fully 
detailed, and especially when the alcohol is in contact with the 

To strengthen alcohol or render it anhydrous, a bladder capable of 
holding 16 ounces is to be nearly filled with alcohol of specific 
gravity 0.85; it is then to be well closed, and suspended over a 
sand bath or before a heated stove, at an inch or more of distance ; 
;n the course of a few days the alcohol will be diminished one- 

Chemical Science, 225 

fourth of its bulk, and have a specific gravity of 0.8. The bladder 
of an ox or a calf is to be used, prepared by being steeped some time 
in water, washed, blown out, freed from fat and adhering vessels, 
the two ureters effectually tied, and then turned inside out, that 
both sides may be cleansed. Being then blown up and dried, the 
surfaces are covered with a solution of isinglass ; one layer is put 
upon the internal surface, and two upon the exterior. The texture 
thus becomes closer, and the alcoholic concentration proceeds 

The bladder should not be filled, but a small space left. It does not 
become moist to the touch, and allows no odour of alcohol. If the 
alcohol have a greater specific gravity than 0.952, the bladder softens 
and feels moist. Bladders prepared as above, may be used a hundred 
times or more : they gradually acquire a yellow brown colour and 
become stiff, but they are improved by a slight change. The air- 
vessel of the salmon will not produce these effects : alcohol of spe- 
cific gravity 0.856 being put into one for 32 hours, lost a third 
of its volume, and was very much weakened. The air-bladder did 
not become moist, but the odour of alcohol was perceived near it. 

Weak alcohol in bladders lost its water more rapidly than stronger 
spirit. In an experiment between water and alcohol, two equal 
bladders were chosen, and eight ounces of water put into one, whilst 
eight ounces of alcohol were put into the other. Both were equally 
exposed to a moderate heat : in the course of four days all the water 
had disappeared, whilst the alcohol had lost only one ounce of its 

If artificial heat is properly employed, absolute alcohol may 
be obtained in from 6 to 12 hours. Even solar heat will produce 
absolute alcohol. 

Wine put into the prepared bladders acquired no bad odour ; it 
took a deeper colour, had more aroma, a milder taste, and generally 
became stronger. Oil of turpentine, put into a jar and covered by 
a bladder, lost nothing in four years. Concentrated vinegar lost 
half its volume in four months ; the other half was thick, and had no 
acid taste. Orange-flower water, under the same circumstances, lost 
a third of its bulk in several mouths, but had acquired a stronger 
odour, and had evidently lost none of its volatile principle. — Menu 
de Munich, ix. 103. — Bull. Univ. A. ix. 322. 

45. Formation ofAdipocire. — Dr. Harlan of Philadelphia relates, 
that having occasion to macerate a cranium in the summer of 1824, 
he directed the head of a large fat negro, who had died of acute 
fever, to be placed in a barrel half filled with water and closely 
covered over. On examining the process about six weeks after- 
wards, he was surprized to observe the head floating buoyantly on 
the surface of the water, lying on one side. The gas disengaged 
during putrefaction, and detained within the cranium, had probably 
produced this effect. The upper surface, or that which floated 
above the water, presented a tumid appearance, and on cutting into 

JULY—SEPT. 1828. Q 

226 Miscellaneous Intelligence, 

it, the whole substance down to the bone was found converted into 
adipociro. That portion of the head and face, on the contrary, 
immersed in the water was putrid and macerated. 

*' Those bodies," says the Doctor, '* in which this change has 
occurred in the cemeteries of this city, such at least as have come 
under my observation, have been interred in a soil of clay with a 
layer of gravel or sand superimposed ; the water percolating down 
to the clay, which confines it in the vicinity of the body, which rests 
on the water." — N. American Med. Journal. 

§ III. Natural History. 

1. Mean Height of the Inhabitants of Paris, <^c. — During eight 
years, from 1816 to 1823 inclusive, the mean height of the young 
men found fit for military service has been 5 feet 2 inches 1 J lines 
for Paris, and 5 feet 1 inch 9| lines for the suburbs de Sceaux and 
Saint-Denis ; so that the mean height is higher in Paris than in 
the rest of the department de la Seine. The same fact has been 
remarked in the department du Rhone, between the town of Lyons 
and the suburb of Villefranche, in the years from 1806 to 1810 in- 
clusive. From other facts of a similar nature also, it may be con- 
cluded that all other things being equal, the height of men is in 
proportion to their condition in life, or rather, perhaps, inversely, as 
the troubles, fatigue, and deprivations which occur in infancy and 
youth. — Corr. Mathtm, iii. 161. 

2. Effects of the Tincture of Colchicum Autumnale on the System. 
— Struck by the powerful and beneficial effects produced by this 
medicine in cases of gout and rheumatism, M. Chelius was led to 
search particularly for circumstances which might either give a 
reason for its good action or accompany it, and soon noticed a re- 
markable change in the urine, which he thinks sufficient to explain 
the whole. This change consists in a striking increase in the 
quantity of uric acid contained in that secretion. A person afflicted 
with gouty concretions at many of the joints, and especially at the 
knees, so as to be unable to move^ took the colchicum wine ; before 
its use, the uric acid, either free or combined in the urine, was 0.069 ; 
on the fourth day after the first employment of the medicine it had 
increased to 0.076 ; on the eighth day to 0.091 ; and on the twelfth 
day to 0.112 : so that the quantity was nearly doubled in the short 
space of twelve days. Similar results were obtained in many other 
cases of the same nature, in which the analyses of the urine had 
been made. 

M. Chelius thinks the English physicians give too large a dose of 
this medicine ; he thinks it preferable to begin with 20 or 30 drops 
in half a glass of water, and to increase the quantity gradually, until 
gastric irritation is indicated. So used, he has never observed it 
to produce bad effects. — Bull, Univ.y C, xiv. 100. 

Natural History, 227 

S. Gouty Inflammation cured by Vaccination over the diseased 
part. — " A lady of hereditary gouty diathesis had been inoculated 
for the small-pox some 50 years ago,'* and had it severely. " Some 
time since, I was requested by her to vaccinate her servant girl, 
which I did, and successfully. She was herself labouring at this 
time under a severe attack of gout in her right wrist, which was 
swollen, and extremely painful, her system being feverish, &c. I 
inserted, with her permission, a portion of the virus into the affected 
part, with the view of ascertaining whether she could take the vac- 
cine disease, and if so, what effect it would produce upon the gout. 
Somewhat to my surprise, and greatly to ray satisfaction, she not 
only had the genuine disease, but the swelling and pain immediately 
lefl her arm, and long before the scab (which was green) had 
dropped off, she was as well and as comfortable as she had ever 
been in her life. The cicatrix remaining is of the genuine porous 
kind." — Dr. Theodore Coxe. — N. American Med. Jour. 

4. Effect of Chlorine in Chronic Affections of the Lungs. — 
A bleaching establishment having been removed into a situa- 
tion notoriously damp, where catarrhal affections were extremely 
common, M. Bourgeois was not a little surprised to observe that 
those employed in this establishment were less liable to these attacks 
than their neighbours. As chlorine is much used in such establish- 
ments, he attributed to it the preventive influence. It chanced that 
two people, one with chronic catarrh resembling phthisis, and the 
other with a vomica in the lungs, were perfectly cured after two or 
three months' residence in this establishment. 

Chlorine has been used medicinally. M. Bourgeois prefers it dis- 
engaged from a mixture of oxide of manganese and muriatic acid ; 
it is of course to be diluted with very much atmospheric air. — Med, 
Journal^ Ix. 173. 

5. Sting of a Wasp. — The bulb of an onion or garlic, cut and 
applied immediately to the place stung, instantly removes the pain. 
Recueillndustrielley vi. 216. 

6. On Insects inclosed in Copal. — The insects contained in the 
different kinds of copal, which occur in commerce, are not less in- 
teresting than those inclosed in amber. M. Dalman has examined 
many of them very minutely, and has found, — 1. That there is a 
complete analogy existing between these insects and those contained 
in amber. 2. That there are many new genera amongst them, and 
many new species of genera already known. 3. That some new 
points relative to the geography of insects may be deduced from 
them ; for copal, which is always an exotic substance, contains insects 
belonging to genera which had been supposed to occur exclusively 
in Europe, such for instance as Pselaphus, Claviger, Aliochara, 
Chermes, Thrips, &c. 

Q 2 

228 Miscellaneous Intelligence, 

Copal resin perfectly preserves the most delicate part of the 
smallest insect, in consequence of which M. Dalman has been 
enabled to study the systematic characters of these small beings very 
minutely. He has made out three new genera and fifteen new 
species. — Bull. Univ., B. xiv. 287, 

7. Reproduction and use of Leeches. — The following experiments 
have been made, and conclusions drawn, by M. Pallas. The bot- 
tom of a box was covered with argillaceous earth to the depth of 
6 inches, and then 200 leeches, which had been used six times, 
put in ; they buried themselves in the earth. Five months after, 
a layer of earth IJ inches deep was removed, and a conical hole 
found, with smooth sides, inclosing axiform cocoons of various 
sizes. On further examination, 73 cocoons were found, and a loss 
of 88 dead or useless leeches was remarked. In another experi- 
ment, the box being arranged as before, 200 leeches, which had 
not been used, were put in at the same period; at the end of five 
months only 14 cocoons were found, and 98 leeches were lost. 

From these and other researches it is concluded, — 1. That leeches 
which have been more or less frequently used, and placed in favour- 
able circumstances, are more apt to reproduce than those which 
have not been used. 2. That the enormous difference above 
described depends upon the difference of nourishment. 3. That 
the time of increase in the climate of Pampluna appears to be from 
the 15th or 20th of August to the end of September. The atmo- 
sphere should be at least 59° or 60° F. Argillaceous earth is the 
medium preferred by the leeches. 4. Each cocoon usually con- 
tains 12 individuals. 5. The cocoons are principally formed of 
two kinds of substance ; the internal is fibrous, dense, and very 
close, enveloping a very thin multilocular pelhcle, which contains 
the germs ; the exterior is very light, porous, and woolly, probably 
destined, according to M. Chatelain, to keep out moisture, and give 
lightness to the cocoon ; but by M. Pallas considered as intended 
to protect the contents of the cocoon from sudden changes of tem- 
perature, of which the young leeches are very sensible. 6. That 
leeches may be applied again and again, and are then more apt to 
produce young. Between the 1st of January and 30th of Septem- 
ber, M. Pallas used 35,611 leeches which had been used before. — 
Mem. de Med. Militaire, xx. 361. 

8. Red Viper of Dorsetshire. — The Rev. Mr. Rackett states that 
a serpent, known to the gamekeepers of Dorsetshire under the 
name of the red viper, was recently killed in Cranbourne Chase. 
It does not appear to have been previously known to British natu- 
ralists, and is considered to be more poisonous than the common 
viper, but, fortunately, very rare. Mr. Racket describes it as of a 
marked red colour, and thinks it probably the Coluber Chersea of 
liinnaeus. — N, Monthly Mag. xxiv. 403. 

Natural History* 229 

9. Destruction of Grasshoppers* Eggs. — Last year the Pacha of 
Egypt offered a reward, for all the grasshoppers eggs that should 
be delivered to him, of 17 piastres per measure. By a letter from 
Acre, it appeared that in October last 40 garavas of 72 measures 
each had iDeen sent in. The total quantity of eggs, estimated as 
above, would be worth 46,000 piastres to those who collected them, 
or about £ 40 yOOO.— Asiatic JournaU 1827, p. 480. 

10. Loss in weight of Meat during cooking. 

4 lb. of beef lost by boiling 1 lb. 


ditto . . 


1 lb. .5 oz. 


ditto . . 


lib. 3oz. 


of mutton . 


14 oz. 


ditto . . 


lib. 6oz. 


ditto . , 


1 lb. 4 oz. 

Jour, des Conn, usuelles. 1828, p. 256. 

W, Living Giraffes in Europe. — Besides the two living giraffes at 
present in Europe, in London and Paris, a third has been sent by the 
Pacha of Egypt to the Emperor of Austria, and arrived some time 
since at Venice, accompanied by Arabs as keepers, and cows to 
provide its food. It was to pass the last winter in Padua, and then 
proceed in the fine weather to Vienna. 

12. Easy Method of preserving small Birds. — It may be useful to 
travellers to know that birds to the size of a pigeon may be preserved 
from putrefaction by an easy process, and by a method which will 
effectually guard them against the attacks of insects. Carefully 
remove the abdominal viscera at the vent, by means of a wire bent 
to a hook at one end; then introduce a small piece of the anti- 
septic paste, and afterwards as much clipped cotton or tow as may 
be thought sufficient, with some of the paste mixed with it ; remove 
the eyes, and fill the orbits with cotton imbued with the paste ; draw 
out the tongue, which remove, and pass a wire from the month into 
the cavity of the cranium, merely to give the antiseptic access to 
the brain : bind a piece of thread round the rostrum, another piece 
round the body and wings; then hang it up by the legs, and pour 
in at the vent from half an ounce to two ounces, according to the 
size of the bird, of alcohol ; let it be hung in an airy situation, and 
it will soon dry, without any unpleasant smell. The antiseptic 
paste is made by mixing 8 parts of finely-powdered white arsenic, 
4 parts of Spanish soap, 3 parts of camphor pulverised in a mor- 
tar with a few drops of alcohol, and 1 part of soft soap. — Med, 
S^irg. Jour. i. 196. v 

13. German Method of procuring Flowers in Winter. — According 
to the ' Recueil Industiielle,' the following method of expediting ve- 
getation at will is pra<:tised in Germany. A branch, proportioned 

230. MisceUdri^ouB Intelligence, 

to the size of the object required, is sawn off the tree, the flowers of 
which are to be produced, and is plunged into a sprint^, if one can 
be found, where it is left for an hour or two, to give time for such ice 
as may adhere to the bark to melt, and to soften the buds ; it is then 
carried into a chamber heated by a stove, and placed in a wooden 
vessel, containing water; quick-lime is to be added to the water, 
and left for twelve hours. The branch is then to be removed into 
another vessel, containing fresh water, with a small quantity of 
vitriol, to prevent its becoming putrid. In a few hours the flowers 
will begin to appear, and afterwards the leaves. If more quick 
lime be used, the flowers will appear quicker ; if, on the contrary, 
none be used, the branch will vegetate more slowly, and the leaves 
will precede the flower. — vi. 216. . 

14. Chinese Method of Planting Branches. — The following me- 
thod is described as being practised by some Chinese retained by 
Count Linhares, in Brazil. The tree practised upon was a Brazi- 
lian myrtle. The branch to be separated and planted, already some 
inches in thickness, was surrounded by a band of straw, mingled 
with horse-dung, forming an envelope five or six times as large in 
diameter as the branch itself; then an annular incision was made 
below this part, and water was allowed to drop from a considerable 
height on to the wrapped part. The vessel is usually a cocoa-nut 
shell, pierced with very fine holes. In about two months the branch 
is separated from the tree and planted. To obtain rapidly growing 
trees the Chinese choose the upper smaller branches, but for more 
productive and better trees they choose stronger branches that are 
nearer to the earth. — Bull. Univ. D. ix. 342. 

15. On a Plant living entirely in the Air. — This plant, which is 
described by M. Loureiro, in the * Lisbon Memoirs,' ii. 83, is not 
the Epidendrum flos aeris of Linnaeus, but a different species, which 
grows in Cochin China, and in one part of China itself. The calyx 
is small, oval, and of one flower ; the corolla has five equal petals ; 
the nectarium consists of two horizontal petals, of which the lower 
is oblong, fleshy, concave, and shaped like a boat ; it is covered by 
the upper nectary, which rises and turns at one side into the form 
of a tube, whilst the other side extends horizontally. The stamina 
are two short elastic filaments united to the internal extremity of 
the lower leaf of the nectary ; the anthers are oblate, simple, and 
covered ; the pistillum consists of a three-sided, thin curved stem 
which supports the flower ; the flower is of a yellow colour, larger 
than that of the jessamine, of an agreeable appearance, and pleasant 
odour. The root consists of intertwined bulbs. This plant is found 
in the woods, suspended from the branches of trees ; being removed 
and hung upon a string, or some other support, it continues to ve- 
getate, though slowly, and flowers every autumn. It is multiplied 
by producing each year new filaments, which send out roots, be- 

Aatural History, 231 

come covered with leaves, and separating from the parent plant, 
still continue to vegetate and increase. 

16. Culture of Aquatic Planta in, China. — The Chinese take 
advantage of their lakes, pools, and rivulets, by cultivating different 
aquatic plants in them, many of which are considered as food. The 
government has planted these vegetables in the lakes, marshes, and 
uncultivated watery grounds belonging to thie state, and the em- 
peror has introduced them into all the canals of his gardens. These 
and other aquatic vegetables may generally be introduced into Eu- 
rope, for they are not sq sensible gf changes in climate as those 
which grow in the eartl\. — BulL Univ. D. ix. 867. 

17. Benzoic Add in the Grosses.— ^Benzoic acid has been found 
by M. Vogel in the sweet-scented vernal grass (anthoxanthum odo- 
ratum), and in the sweet-scented soft grass (holcus odoratus). It 
is these two grasses which communicate to hay the aroma peculiar 
to themselves. 

18. Eradication of Meadow Saffron. — Colchicum, or meadow 
saffron, is highly injurious in meadows, in consequence ofits poison- 
ous qualities, especially when green. Instances are not at all un- 
common of cattle, pigs, &c., being poisoned by it. It is not easily 
eradicated, propagating itself readily both by its seeds and roots, 
and the latter lying deep in the earth. The best method is to pull 
it up in the beginning of May, before the seeds are ripe. It is only 
necessary that the stem should be separated at the neck of the bulb, 
for it has been ascertained that then the plant no longer has the 
power of reproduction. — Bull. Univ. D. ix. 320. 

19. Native Arseniuretted Iron. — A mineral substance was given 
to Professor SiUiman by Mr. P. Baldwin, who said that it was from 
the Bedford county, Pennsylvania. Professor SiUiman considered it 
as a new variety of native iron, and gave it to Mr. Shepard for ana- 
lysis. The following are the general results : — 

The fragment weighed 2 or 3 ounces, and, though injured in 
form, was evidently, a crystal. It was ascertained to belong- to the 
class of rhombic prisms,, but whether right or oblique could not be 
determined. The natural pJanes were not good, and although the 
cleavage planes seemed fjuite perfect, they gave irregular results. 
The inclination of the primary planes are about 121^ and 56®, those 
of the secondary (intersecting the base parallel to its greatest dia- 
gonal) to the primary 149°. With cleavage planes the angles were 
120°, 121°, and 122°; cleavage parallel to the lateral planes is 
easily effected. The fracture in the other direction is uneven and 
sub-hackly. The original planes were dull, but fresh cleavages pre- 
sented a fine metallic lustre, and a colour between silver-white and 
steel-gray. The substance breaks with difficulty: small masses 

232 Miscellaneous Intelligence. 

often flatten under the hammer ; its hardness is nearly that of or- 
dinary steel ; specific gravity 7.337, highly magnetic and polar ; it 
melts before the compound blow-pipe flame, giving the smell of 
arsenic when in the exterior flame, and burning brightly like iron in 
the inner flame. No odour of sulphurous acid was perceived, and 
by chemical examination the substance was found free from sul- 

When dissolved in nitric acid, black flakes of plumbago were 
separated, and, besides the iron, arsenic acid existed in the solution : 
no other metals were present. The proportions are as follows : — 
Iron .... 97.05 

Arsenic • , . , 1.55 
Plumbago • . . .0.40 
Loss . , . , .1. 


20. Muriate of Ammonia in Turkistan. — M. Timkovski states 
in his Travels in China, (second part,) that there are mountains to 
the north of the town of Kutscha, containing numerous caverns, in 
which, during spring, summer, and autumn, flames appear, resem- 
bling at a distance lighted lamps, but difficult to approach. Dur- 
ing the winter, when ice and snow abound, the flames disappear. 
The inhabitants of the country then enter the caves, and collect 
much sal ammoniac. — Bull. Univ. B. xiv. 220. 

21. New Minerals containing Selenium. — Two mineral substances 
from Culebras in Mexico were given to Professor del Rio, and by him 
examined. One was red, like cinnabar, with a specific gravity of 
5.66, the other gray, like light gray silver ore, with a specific gra- 
vity of 5.56. Both burnt before the blow-pipe with a violet flame, 
evolving an offensive smoke, smelling like rotten cabbage, and 
leaving a grayish white earthy matter. When heated in a retort, 
mercury, selenium, and a small quantity of sulphur rose, and a sub- 
oxide of zinc remained. 

The gray mineral being analyzed in the moist way gave 

Selenium 49 • 

Zinc 24. 

Mercury 19 . 

Sulphur 1.5 


besides which were also 6 grains of lime from the matrix. The 
mineral is therefore a biseleniuret of zinc, united to a proto-sulphu- 
ret of mercury. The red mineral is stated also to be a biseleniuret 
of zinc, but united to a bisulphuret of mercury or cinnabar, which 
gives the red colour to it. — Fhil. Mag. iv. 113, 

22. Common Salt on the Coast of CAiZz.— The officers of the 

Natural History, 233 

frigate United States, who have returned from a voyage in the 
Pacific, gave Dr. Mitchell a piece of common salt from that 
part of the coast of ChiU to the south of Coquimbo. An in- 
crustation of salt is found along this coast 30 miles in length, and 
several miles in width. It has the appearance of that compact ice 
which forms on the surface of lakes and rivers in America, towards 
the middle of winter. Its thickness is about two feet. When a block 
of it is removed, the space is soon filled up by new salt. The great 
road runs for a considerable distance along the edge of this curious 
formation. It has frequently happened, that when mules, horses, 
and even men have died in this part of the route, their bodies have 
been perfectly preserved for a long time afterwards. — Ann. Mari- 
times, 1827, p. 617. 

23. Fall of an Aerolite and accompanying Phenomena. — The 
fall of an aerolite, weighing 36 pounds, at Vaigou, one of the 
Sandwich islands, is described by M. Jt^gur Jt^kimof, a lieutenant 
who accompanied Captain Kotzebue in his voyage round the world, 
with attendant meteorological circumstances, which seem closely 
connected with it. It fell at II o'clock in the morning of the 1 4th 
September, 1825. A short time previously, the sky became charged 
with clouds, until the entire island was covered with a dense black 
veil. The fall of the stone was immediately preceded by a violent 
gust of wind from the N.W., and even at sea, sounds like those of 
thunder were heard. Immediately after these detonations, the 
aerolite fell in the middle of the village of Ganagauro, and broke 
into pieces on touching the ground. The Russian travellers ga- 
thered many of these pieces, one weighing 151bs. They resemble 
the aerolites generally known. — Bull. Univ. A. ix. 325. 

24. Meteor exhibiting a peculiar Green Colour. — '*Onthe night of 
the 11th of February, (1828), between 11 and 12 o'clock, as I was 
crossing the East river between this city (New York) and Long 
Island, I observed a beautiful meteor, which was visible for about 
two seconds. Its course was from a point perhaps 5° below the 
zenith, towards the horizon, in a north-east direction. It described 
an arc of perhaps 20°, when it apparently exploded, but without 
any report that I could hear. Its colour was a singularly pure grass 
greeuy of a light shade ; the trail which it left was of the same 
colour, and so were the scintillations which accompanied its appa- 
rent explosion. The latter were distinct, like those which accom- 
pany the bursting of a rocket, but by no means so numerous. Two 
gentlemen who were in the boat with me at the time also saw it." — 
Mr. Silliman. Silliman's Journal. 

25. On the Ascent of the Jung Fran. 
Sir, Interiakeny Sept. 12, 1828. 

Thinking the following account of an ascent to the Jung Frau 

JULY— SEPT. 1828. R 

234 Miscellaneous Intelligence. 

which has just been accomplished, may he interesting to your rea- 
ders, I have taken the liberty of sending it to you for insertion in 
your Journal. I saw (with my telescope) the guides placing the 
flag on the peak, and have had the account from them this morning. 

I am. Sir, yours, &c. 

W. Lardner, M.D. 
MoHdatf, Sept. 8, 1828. 

Christian Roth, guide, 

Pierre Burman, chasseur de chamois. 

Christian Burman, chasseur, 

Pierre Roth, chasseur, 

Ulric Widmer^ berger, 

Pierre Moser, chasseur. 

Ildbrand Buregner, chasseur, 
Ifeft Grindelwald, furnished with ice-pickers, cords, a ladder of 25 
feet long, and a red flag, with an iron flag-staff nine feet long. They 
began their ascent on the glacier of Grindelwald, between the Grand 
Eiger and the Welterberg ; they turned afterwards to the right, and 
continued their route till the evening : they slept in a large cave 
formed in the rocks, which perfectly sheltered them ; it is situated 
at the foot of the Grand Eiger, and towards the south side, it is 73 
feet long, and 44 wide; at the bottom is another small cave, out of 
which runs a rivulet. On the 9th, they passed over the summit of 
Fischerhorn, and descending again by the glacier of Alletsch, they 
slept the second night behind some rocks which had fallen from the 
Finisterhorn. Leaving the Finisterhorn on the right, and the Fischer- 
horn in front of them, on the 10th, turning to the right, they followed 
the crest which leads to the summit of the Jung Frau toward the 
Breithorn : there they found two crevices in the ice, which were so 
large, they were obliged to cross them with their ladder. Higher 
up they found the ice so sloping, that they were obliged to cut steps 
in it, which occupied them two hours ; at last, about four o'clock 
P.M., they arrived at the highest plain, and between four and five, 
they fixed their flag on the peak, two feet deep in the ice. The 
evening of the 10th, they returned to sleep at the foot of the Finis- 
terhorn, and the 11th in the afi;ernoon, they returned safe to Grin- 
delwald : they did not experience any great inconvenience from the 
temperature, which Ihey say was even mild ; the respiration was a 
little difficult. A fortnight before, a similar attempt had been made 
by the same men accompanied by a gentleman from Berne, and after 
remaining eight days upon the mountain, were obliged to return 
without having accomplished their object, chiefly for want of provi- 
sions ; the cold was then much more intense, and had so much 
aff*ected the skin of their faces that it was peeling ofFin large patches. 
In the first ascent their faces were unguarded ; in the second they 
had a double green crape over them. 

26. On the existence of Active Molecules in Organic and Inorganic 
bodies. — While Mr. Brown was examining the pollen of various 

Natural History. 235 

plants under the microscope, he observed distinct motion in the 
grains when immersed in water, consisting not only of a change in 
place, but of form also. Having observed this in the pollen of all 
the living plants he examined, he next tried to ascertain how long 
this property continued after the death of a plant, and found that 
plants dried, or immersed in spirit for a few days, and some even 
which had been dried for twenty years, and others not less than a 
century, still exhibited these active particles. Whilst making the 
observation with the ovula or seeds of the EquisetuTJiy they were 
accidentally bruised, which very much increased the number of 
moving particles ; and on bruising the floral leaves and other parts 
of mosses, they were also obtained. 

With a view of ascertaining whether these active particles, ob- 
tained from such different parts of plants, were the supposed con- 
stituents or elementary molecules of organic bodies, different animal 
and vegetable tissues were examined ; whether living or dead, if 
bruised in water, they gave moving particles, identical with those 
of pollen. They were also found in products of organization, as 
gum resins, vegetable substances, and even pit-coal. The dust or 
soot deposited on bodies, especially in London, is entirely composed 
of them. 

As the particles were found in fossil and silicified wood, they 
were next sought for in inorganic substances, and were at once 
obtained merely by bruising a small splinter of window-glass upon 
the stage of the microscope. They were obtained in succession 
from rocks of all ages, each of the constituents of granite, travertine, 
stalactites, lava, obsidian, pumice, volcanic-ashes, meteorites, man- 
ganese, nickel, plumbago, bismuth, antimony, arsenic, and in every 
mineral that could be reduced to powder sufficiently fine to be tem- 
porarily suspended in water. In many cases the particles seemed 
to aggregate into linear arrangements or fibrils, consisting of three 
or four, and these also had motion. 

Wood, linen, paper, cotton, wool, silk, hair, and muscular fibre, 
being burnt, gave the molecules as evidently in motion as before 

The form of these molecules appears to be spherical, but modifi- 
cations of it occur in certain circumstances ; the diameter of the 
particles are firom Ysiun^^ ^^ -^siij-s^^^ of ^^ ^'^^^^ 

The principal substances from which these molecules have not 
been obtained, are oil, resin, wax and sulphur ; such of the metals 
as could not be reduced to the state of division necessary for their 
separation ; and finally bodies soluble in water. 

All these observations were made under a simple microscope, 
and, indeed, with one and the same lens, the focal length of which 
is about 3^d of an inch. — Phil, Mag. N. S., iv., 161. 










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October to December, 1828. 


Facts towards a History of Eating, Drinking, and Sleeping. By 
William Wadd, Esq., F.L.S. 237 

A Geological and Geographical Sketch of the Island of St. Chris- 
topher. Communicated by I. C. Lees, Esq. . . • 256 

Remarks on the Discovery of some Fossil Bones in France. By 
John Ranking, Esq. 267 

Of the Junction of Granite and Sandstone in Sutherland, and on 
the Lignite Formation of that District. By J. Mac Culloch, 
M.D., F.R.S. &c. 274 

Observations on the Existence of Chlorine in the Native Per- 
oxide of Manganese, &c. By Robert John Kane, Esq. . 286 
On the Inland Navigation of the United States. Part III. . 29i2 

Illustrations of the Manupeda, or Apes and their Allies ; being 
the arrangement of the Quadrumana or Anthropomorphous 
Beasts indicated in Outline. By G. T. Burnett, Esq. . . 300 

On the Organic Remains of the Diluvium in Norfolk. Com- 
municated by C. B. Rose, Esq. . . . .308 

Reply to Mr. James Ivory's Answer in No. XXIII. of the Philo- 
sophical Magazine and Annals of Philosophy . . . 315 

Remarks on the Stowage and Sailing of Ships and Vessels. By 
Commander John Pearse, R. N. .... 320 

On the Elevation of Water by the momentive Force of that Fluid 
in the Suction Pipe of a Pump. By R. Addams, Esq. . . 332 

Remarks on some Remains of Elephants, lately found on the 

American Shore in Behring's Straits. By J. Ranking, Esq. 334 

Practical Comparison of different Tables of Mortality. In a 

Letter to Sir Edward Hyde East, Bart. M.P., F.K.S. . . 342 

A General Description of Lake Erie. Communicated by John 
J. BiGSBY, M.D., &c. &c 358 

Account of a Luminous Animalcule. By Captain Home, R.N., 
F.R.S., &c., in a Letter to the Editor .... 383 

The Newly-discovered Temple at Cadachio, in the Island of 
Corfu, illustrated by William Railton, Architect . . . 385 

Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 

L Elementary View of the Undulatory Theory of Light. 

By Mr. Fresnel 389 

ii. Remarks on Mr. Henderson's Improvement on Dr. 
Young's method of computing the Longitude from the 
observed occupation of a fixed Star by the Moon : 
with Mr. Henderson's Answer . . . .407 

iii. Approximate Table of Equinoxes. H.J. . . . 417 

iv. Principal Lunar Occultations of the Fixed Stars in 
the months of February and March, 1829, calculated 
for the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. By Thomas 
Henderson, Esq. 418 

v. Computation of Longitudes on a Spheroid . . . 418 



I. Mechanical Science. 


1 Test of the Action of Frost and 

Weather on Building Materials 421 

2 Connpression of Water in diflfer- 

ent vessels A22 

3 Maximum Density of Saltwater 423 

4 Propagation of Sound 424 

5 Experimental Velocity of Sound ib. 

6 Syphon Hydrometer ib. 


7 Alteration of weight in Rock 

Crystal 425 

8 Friction of Screws and Screw- 

presses 426 

9 Paper Linen ib. 

10 Hardening of Steel ib. 

11 Dyeing of Wool with Prussian 

Blue 427 

II. Chemical Science. 

1 Electro-chemical Theory of 

Combination 428 

2 Chemical Powers of Magnetism 429 

3 Effect of Magnetism on the Pre- 

cipitation of Silver ib. 

4 Magnetism of Galvanometer 

Wires, &c 431 

5 Early History of Electio-Mag- 

netism ib. 

6 Intense Light 432 

7 Atomic weight of Bodies .... ib. 

8 Test of the presence of Oxygen 433 

9 Combinations of the Nitrous 

Oxide with Salifiable Bases . 434 

10 Decomposition of Boracic Acid « 

by Hydrogen ib. 

1 1 Preparation of Hydriodic Acid 435 

12 Formation of Cyanide of Potas- 

sium ib. 

13 Phosphoric Acid of Potash . . . ib. 

14 New Compound of Silica and 

Potassa ib. 

15 Fulminating Powder ...... 436 

16 Crystallization of Sulphate of 

Potash ib. 

17 Double Saline Compounds obtained 

by Heat and Fusion ib. 

18 Two Sulphates of Manganese . 438 

19 Carbon in Pig Iron ib. 

20 New Metal, Pluranium ib. 

21 Preparation of Titanic Acid . . 439 

22 Volatilization of Silver 440 

23 Crystallization of Argentiferous 

Salts ib. 

.24 Argentiferous Precipitate ana- 
logous to Purple of Cassius ib. 

25 Colouration of Gold 441 

26 Absorbent powers of Salts for 

Water ib. 

27 Production and Nature of Al- 

coates 442 

28 New Vegeto- Alkalies 443 

29 Amylic Acid 444 

30 Pinic Acid 445 

III. Natural History. 

1 Mineral or Native Naphthaline 446 

2 Aerolites contained in Hail . , . 447 

3 On Amber ib. 

4 A Lightning Stroke at Sea . . . 448 

5 Height of the Aurora Borealis . ib. 

6 Aurora Borealis ib. 

7 Composition of the Mud of the 

Nile 449 

8 Method of preserving Seeds . . ib. 

9 Preparation of Grain and Seeds 

by Chlorine ib. 

10 Emjjloyment of Slates for hast- 
ening the maturation of Fruits 450 

Meteorological Table for October, November, and December 
Index . . 

11 Exhalation of Chlorine by Ma- 
ritime Plants 450 

12 Change of Colour in Leaves . . ib. 

13 On a new kind of Salad ib. 

14 New kind of Coffee 451 

15 Maturation of Wine ib. 

16 Wholesomeness in Mushrooms ib. 

17 Artificial Incubation ib. 

18 Prevention of DeathfromPoison 452 

19 Hydrophobia in Foxes .... 453 

20 Preservation of Eggs 454 

21 Egyptian Manuscript ib. 



Wk have received a paper from Mr. Meikle, " On the Relation 
between the Density, Pressure, and Temperature of Air, and on Expe- 
riments regarding the Theory of Clouds, Rain, &c. ; with a Conjecture 
about Thunder and Lightning," which an accidental circumstance has 
obliged us to postpone. It will be found to bear upon his Reply to 
Mr. Ivory, which we now publish. 

The deposit upon the Specimen from the margin of one of the Lakes 
of Killarney, is Argillo-siliceous. The Chalk contains Alumina, but no 
Magnesia. The Pyrites is common. 

In Mr. Addams' paper on the Sap of the Rose, published in our last 
Number, p. 149, line 9 from the bottom, for ** oxalate of ammonia," 
read " oxalate of lime,"' 

An account of the proceedings of the Royal Society, at their Anniver- 
sary Meeting, will be found in the Literary Gazette for the following 

The Drawing of an Ornamental Aviary, illustrative of the paper 
which we printed in our last Number, by J. C. Cox, Esq., reached us 
too late for insertion. 

We request "X." to refer to our private letter upon the subject of 
Gas-engines. The whole affair is as we have there stated it, et prceterea 

Our attention has been directed, by more than one Correspondent, to 
the operations lately carrying on in the Chelsea Water Company's 
Reservoir in the Green Park. We wish to see them terminated before 
we say more. In the mean time, we beg the writer, who dates from 
Paddington, and who deprecates the use of reservoirs, to recollect that, 
if these thousands of cartloads of filth had not been deposited where 


they now are, the whole mass of nastiness must inevitably have passed 
down the throats of the worthy persons who derive their supplies from 
the said Basin. The sooner the Reservoir in Hyde Park is looked after, 
the better. We should also like to know something of the state of the 
West Middlesex Reservoir at Kensington. 

The Letter on the Burial of the Dead in the Streets of London, is rather 
intemperate, and we must decline its insertion, entirely agreeing, however, 
with the writer as to the indelicacy, impropriety, and, we may say, barba- 
rity of the custom. We are surprised that he omitted the churchyard, 
as it is called, of St. Clement's in the Strand, where the burial-service is 
often performed in the actual street, and within hearing of the profane 
language and other abominations of the draymen, coal-heavers, hackney- 
coachmen, et id genus omne ; and where the tomb-stones almost form 
part of the public pavement of that most public situation. 

It is with sincere and deep regret that we announce the death of 
Dr. W. H. WoLLASTON, which took place on the 22nd of December, 
at his house in Dorset Street, Manchester Square. His loss will be 
severely felt by his numerous friends and acquaintance, and generally 
deplored throughout the scientific society of Europe. 





Facts towards a History of Eating, Drinking, and Sleeping. 
By William Wadd, Esq., F.L.S. 

L Eating. 

Philosophers, who have puzzled themselves how to define 
man, so as to distinguish him from other animals, have defined 
him as '' animal risibile" — as a '• buying and selling animal"— 
an animal that makes bargains. Some have even defined man 
to be a tree, bottom upwards, the brain being the root. The 
author of the *' Sublime and Beautiful" settled the question in 
a different way : he said, *' man is an animal that cooks its 
victuals ! " thereby proving the justness of the proverbial 
axiom, '^ there is reason in roasting eggs." 

These speculations, however, were all done away by another 
set of philosophers, who thought they had reconciled all diffi- 
culties, when they characterized him by his stomach : but alas ! 
this theory, like the others, vanished, when it was discovered 
that the human stomach occasionally possessed the powers of 
the brute stomach. 

This wonderful power of the human stomach, technically 
termed by doctors '^ fames canina" — ** fames lupina and buli- 
ma," has been considered by some as a disease, and if we be- 
lieve Forestus, is of very ancient date ; for he records, that in 
Syracuse *^ there was an universal disease, called the ' hungry 
sickness,' in which people did desire continually to eat, and never 
were satisfied ; of this," he says, *« multitudes died.*" And 
Bonetus, has a chapter on the subject, *'De Fame pra^ternat- 

* Forest. Obs. Med. Part 3. 
OCT.— DEC 1828. S 

238 Facts towards a History of 

It would appear from certain well-known facts, that this 
hungry sickness is to be found in some portion of the popu- 
lation of the present day ; and from the strongly marked 
symptoms that occasionally manifest themselves in corporate 
bodies, we might further believe that some aldermen are of 
Syracusan descent. 

That this disease was of great antiquity may be inferred 
from the circumstance, that the ancient poets made Hunger one 
of the Pagan deities ; and from the place they assigned to the 
Pagan god, it would appear that they had adopted their notions 
from ^^ fames canina'' — for we are told — ** ils la placaient a 
la porte de I'enfer, avec les maladies, les chagrins, les remords, 
I'indigence, et les autres maux, qu''ils s'^toient plu adiviniser." 
A species of ** fames canina*" is also to be met with 
amongst schoolboys, differing from the Syracusan disease in 
respect to its affecting the juveniles most when most in health. 
We remember a gentleman offering a wager, that a boy taken 
promiscuously from any of the public charity-schools, should, 
five minutes after his dinner, eat a pound of beef-steaks. 

There is another class of scholastic persons, adults, known 
in the literary world as poets and critics — who are also 
troubled with this complaint ; which attracted the attention of 
one learned person so far, as to suggest the idea of '^ A Trea- 
tise on Tis- airia ^ovXifAH, or what is the reason Critics are 
always hungry ? " — ingeniously conjecturing, that a poor au- 
thor is devoured by them, in proportion to the temporary 
action of this complaint on their stomachs. 

Sauvages has enumerated seven different species of Bulimy ; 
but in most of the instances which he has mentioned, it is 
rather to be regarded as a concomitant of other disorders, than 
as a distinct and specific affection. 

Ruysch gives an instance of this complaint, which was con- 
nected with a dilation of the pylorus, in consequence of which, 
the food slipped through the stomach into the intestines, 
before there was time for digestion to take place : and it 
is recorded by Lieutaud, that upon opening the body of a pa- 
tient who had died of a disorder, in which a voracious appetite 
was a leading symptom, he discovered a preternatural termi- 
nation of the ductus choledochus in the' stomach. In this 

Eating, Drinking, and Sleeping, 239 

case, the bile effused into the stomach seems to have kept up 
a constant irritation, by which the ingesta were expelled before 
digestion took place. 

We have before paid our respects to voracious eaters : those 
whom we are now to introduce are inordinate swallowers, who 
may be said to devour, rather than to eat. 

The first, and most notable of these, is the famed Nicholas 
Wood, whose excessive manner of eating, without manners, is 
described, in strange and true manner, about the year 1630, 
by no less a person than the celebrated water-poet, John Tay- 
lor, in a book entitled ^' Nicholas Wood, the great eater ; or 
the admirable teeth and stomach exploits of Nicholas Wood, of 
Harrison, in the county of Kent.^' It is a very singular spe- 
cies of composition ; and lest his prose should be taken for the 
flights of poetic fancy, he gives very cogent reasons why, in 
writing the memorable actions of Nicholas Wood, he tells 
nothing but plain truth, bare and threadbare, "almost stark- 
naked truth." 

** First," he says, " I were to blame to write more than truth, 
because that which is known to be true is enough." 

*' Secondly, that which is only true is too much." 

'^ Thirdly, the truth will hardly be believed, being so much 
beyond men's reason to convince." 

*' Fourthly, I shall runne the hazard to be accounted a great 
lyar, in writing the truth." 

** Lastly, I will not lye, on purpose to make all those lyars 
that esteeme me so." 

Our author then enters upon his history, and after pleasaptly 
paraphrasing his name, and telling us, ''that his mouth was a 
mill of perpetual motion, for let the wind or the water rise or 
fall, yet his teeth would ever be a-grinding ;" and that his breed- 
ing would have been most mighty, if his education had been as 
his feeding, he proceeds to enumerate some of his exploits. 
*• Two loynes of mutton, and one loyne of veal, were but as 
three sprats for him." Milo, the Crotonian, could hardly be 
his equal ; and Woolner, of Windsor, was not worthy to be his 

" A quarter of fat lambe, and three-score eggs, has been au 
easy collation — three well-larded pudding pyes he hath at one 


240 Facts towards a History of 

time put down — eighteen yards of black-puddings (London 
measure) have suddenly been imprisoned in his sowse-tub.'^ 

He was by no means difficult to please in cookery, nor was 
he nice in his palate. The peacock of SamoSi the woodcock 
of Phrygia, the cranes of Malta, the pheasant of Englandy 
were all baubles with him. He was an Englishman, and 
English diet served his turn. " If the Norfolk dumpling and the 
Devonshire white-pot be at variance," says Taylor, ** he will 
atone them ; the hag-puddings of Gloucestershire, the black- 
puddings of Worcestershire, the pan-puddings of Shropshire, 
the white-puddings of Somersetshire, the pasty-puddings of 
Hampshire, and the pudding-pies of any shire, all is one to 
him ; nothing comes amisse, a contented mind is worth all ; 
and let any thing come in the shape of eating stuff, it is wel- 

Taylor seems to have had it in contemplation to make money 
of him, by exhibiting him at the Bear-garden, but Wood dis- 
appointed his scheme, and for very substantial reasons— first, 
as he was waxing old, and having lost all his teeth, but one, 
in eating a quarter of mutton, bones and all, he feared he 
should lose his reputation, though he could eat a fat wether, 
if it were boiled ; and secondly, he feared, that if the king 
should hear of one who ate so much, and could work so 
little, an order would come to hang him*. 

In more recent times, there has been some well authenti- 
cated cases in the public journals ; and some are to be found 
in the Philosophical Transactions, 

In 1700, there lived at Stanton, seven miles from Bury, a 
labouring man of middle age, who for many days together 
had such an inordinate appetite, that he would eat up an ordi- 
nary leg of veal, or a leg of mutton, at a meal. He would eat 

* While Charles Gustavus, the successor to Christina, queen of Swe- 
den, was besieging Prague, a boor of most extroardinary visage, desired 
admittance into the royal tent, and offered, by way of amusing the king, to 
devour a whole hog, of one hundred weight, in his presence. The cele- 
brated old general, Konis;smarc, was at this time standing by the king's 
side, and though a soldier of great courage, being tainted in some degree 
with superstition, hinted to his royal master, that the peasant ought to be 
burnt for a sorcerer. " Sir," said the fellow, highly irritated by the 
observation, *' if your majesty will but make that old gentleman take <jff 
his sword and his spurs, t will eat him immediately before I begin the 

Eating, Drinlcincji and Sleeping. 241 

sow -thistles, and various other herbs, as greedily as cattle are 
wont to do ; and all he could get was little enough to satisfy 
his hunger. He voided several long worms. This case is 
related by Dr. Burroughs, in the 22d vol. Phil. Trans. Two 
other cases are recorded in the 43d vol. of the same Transac- 
tions, one by Dr. Mortimer, the other by Dr. Cookson. The 
subjects of this affection were in both instances boys. The 
first of them was twelve years old, and lived at Blade Barns- 
ley, in Yorkshire. His appetite was so ravenous, that if he 
was not supplied with food when he craved it, he would gnaw 
the flesh off" his own bones. When awake he was constantly 
devouring. Nothing passed his stomach ; it was always 
thrown up again. In the space of six days he devoured 384 
lbs. of liquid and solid food^. 

The other boy was ten years old, and had been seized with 
a fever about fifteen months before, which continued for a 
fortnight, and was followed by constant vomitings. As in the 
former case, so in this : the food was no sooner swallowed, 
than thrown up again. In the space of six days, this boy 
devoured 371 pounds of meat and drink, besides one pound 
ten ounces of salt. After more than a twelvemonth from the 
first attack, he died, greatly emaciated. 

Another case of canine appetite, accompanied with vomit- 
ing, is recorded by the late Dr. Lettsom, in the third volume 
of the Memoirs of the Medical Society. In this case, 379 
pounds of solid and fluid aliment were taken into the stomach, 
in the space of six days. 

A gentleman who had not been remarkable for his appetite, 
became, without any apparent reason, very voracious, so much 
so, that he could not dine out, without first allaying the 
cravings of his stomach. He consulted several medical men, 
without any alteration in his complaint. By accident, a book 
on the medicinal virtues of water, came in his way, and from 
the doctrines contained in it, he was induced to give up all 
other fluids, which in the course of a few months restored him 
to his former state of health. 

* This boy, had he lived to manhood with the same propensities, would 
have furnished a singular exception in the history of Anthropophi— viz. 
a man eating himself. 

242 Facts towards a History of 

From these observations, it is evident that the plan of treat- 
ment must be varied, according to the diversity of the morbid 
conditions "with which it is connected. Thus, when it is the 
consequence of an immediate rejection of the food by vomiting, 
the irritabihty of the stomach should be counteracted by 
mild gelatinous food, by opiates, tonics, &c., aided by sti- 
mulant epithems, and other topical applications. At the 
same time, nutritive enemata should be injected into the in- 

In like manner, when it is the consequence of the food 
passing off too rapidly (as in lientery), the remedies adapted 
to that condition of the body should be resorted to. If it 
proceed from worms, calomel, jalap, cowitch, and other an- 
thelmintics, should be prescribed ; if from mesenteric ob- 
struction, rhubarb, neutral salts, and afterwards chalybeates ; 
and lastly, when it arises from acidity in the stomach and in- 
testines, bitters and absorbents should be given. 

A false appetite, a craving that does not arise from the 
demands of health, but from the morbid piquancy of the 
juices in the stomach, is a state in which more is taken 
than can be digested — the food is devoured rather than 

This condition of stomach has led to the notion that the 
parties have had to feed another animal besides themselves ; 
and the lower orders do not hesitate to believe, that a large 
worm, and even a wolf, are occasionally inhabitants of that 

II. Drinking. 

Use a little wine, for thy stomach's sake. — 1 Tim. v. 23. 
So says St. Paul — and this seems to have been the opinion 
of the most ancient philosophers and physicians. A moderate 
use of it has been sanctioned by the wise and good in all ages. 
Those who have denied its virtues are those who have not 
been able to drink it. Asclepiades wrote upon wine, the use 
of which he introduced with almost every remedy, observing, 
that the gods had bestowed no more valuable gift on man : 
even the surly Diogenes drank it ; for it is said of him, that he 
liked that wine best, which he drank at other people's cost — 

Eating^ Drinking, and Sleeping. 248 

a notion adopted by the oinopholous Mosely, who, when 
asked, *' What wine do you drink, Doctor?" answered, " Port 
at home — claret abroad!" 

Hippocrates, the father of physic, recommends a cheerful 
glass ; and Rhases, an ancient Arabian physician, says, no 
liquor is equal to good wine. Reineck wrote a dissertation 
*' De Potu Vinoso," and the learned Dr. Shaw lauded the 
*' juice of the grape." But the stoutest of its medical advo- 
cates was Tobias Whitaker, physician to Charles the Second, 
who undertook to prove the possibility of maintaining life, from 
infancy to old age, without sickness, by the use of wine* ! 

It must, however, be remembered, that Whitaker was cor- 
dially attached to wine, and a greater friend to the vintner 
than to the apothecary, having as utter a dislike to unpalat- 
able medicines, as the most squeamish of his patients : there- 
fore. Dr. Toby's evidence must be taken with caution, inde- 
pendently of the courtly spirit that might have led him to 
adapt his theories to the times. 

It has been questioned whether the use of wine was known 
to the antediluvian world ; but there can be no doubt, in the 
corrupt state of man, that wine would have its share in his 
debasement, and it may be very strongly inferred, from the 
circumstance that Noah planted a vineyard, and, moreover, 
" that he drank of the wine, and was drunken" (Gen. ix. 20) 
►^a sad stain in the character of a man who was " perfect in 
his generation ;" and which also proves that, in the earliest 
period of the world, the very best of men were liable to fall 
into error and excess. 

But the antiquity and propriety of wine-drinking is not 
matter of question. The Archbishop of Seville, Antonio de 
Solis, who lived to be 110 years old, drank wine; and even 
that wonderful pattern of propriety, Cornaro, did the same : 
but the question is about quantity. Sir William Temple was 
pleased to lay down a rule, and limit propriety to three glasses. 
" I drink one glass," says he, **for health, a second for refresh- 
ment, a third for a friend ; but he that offers a fourth is an 

As in eating, so in drinking, in the question of quantity— 

• " Tree of Human Life, or the Blood of the Grape." 1638. 

244 Tacts towards a History of 

much depends on the capacity of the stomach. A very abste- 
mious friend of mine, not long since, dined tete-a-tete with a 
gentleman well known for his kindness and hospitality, and 
not less so for his powers of bibulation. After dinner, at 
which a fair share of many excellent wines was taken, Port 
and Madeira were put on the table, and before the host, a 
magnum of Claret. My friend drank his usual quantum, 
three glasses of Madeira, during which time a great portion of 
the magnuni had disappeared; and soon afterwards, being 
emptied, the host said, " I think we can just manage a bottle 
between us." The bottle was brought, and very shortly dis- 
appeared, without the aid of the visiter. 

The same gentleman and Lord , at the Angel at 

Bury, fell in with some excellent Claret. They had disposed 
of six bottles, when the landlord, who did not guess or guage 
the quality of his customers (the bell being rung for a fresh 
supply), begged very gently to hint that it was expensive stuff, 
being fifteen shillings a bottle ! " Oh ! is it so ? then bring 
up two bottles directly ! ■" 

We have nothing, however, in modern times, at all equal to 
the account given of some of the ancients. The elder Cato, 
we are told, warmed good principles with a considerable 
quantity of good wine*. But Cicero's son exceeds all others; 
so much so, that he got the name of Bicongius, because he 
was accustomed to drink two congiif at a sitting. Pliny, and 
others, abound in grand examples, that prove we have degene- 
rated at any rate in this respect, for these convivial s were 
neither sick nor sorry. Even that eminent debauchee, Nero, 
was only three times sick in fourteen years. " Nam qui 
luxurise immoderatissimse esset, ter omnino per xiv. annos 
languit ; atque ita, ut neque vino, neque consuetudine reliqua 
abstineret." — Sueton. de Nerone. 

The Abb^ de Voisenon, a very diminutive man, said to his 
physician, who ordered him a quart of ptisan per hour, " Ah ! 
my friend, how can you desire me to swallow a quart an hour ? 
I hold only a pint." 

* Cato allowed his slaves, during the Saturnalia, four bottles of \Yine 
per diem, 
t Two congii are seven quarts, or eight bottles ! 

Eating, Drinking, and Sleeping, 245 

Wine has not only been considered good for the body, but 
has, from the earliest period, been thought invigorating to the 
mind. Thus we find it a constant theme of praise with poets. 
Martial says — 

Regnat nocte calix, volvuntur biblia mane. 
Cum Phoebo Bacchus dividit imperium. 

All night I drink, and study hard all day : 
Bacchus and Phoebus hold divided sway. 

Horace has done ample justice to it ; and even Homer 

says — 

The weary find new strength in generous wine. 

Upon the principle, no doubt, of expanding the imagination, 
we find, so early as 1374, old Geoffrey Chaucer had a pitcher of 
wine a day allowed him. Ben Jonson, in after times, had the 
third of a pipe annually; and a certain share of this invigo- 
rating aliment has been the portion of Laureates down to the 
present day. 

At Dulwich College are preserved some of Ben Jonson's 
Memoranda, which prove that he owed much of his inspiration 
to good wine, and the convivial hours he passed at the Devil, 
a tavern then situated in Fleet street, near Temple Bar, on 
the site where ChiWs Place now stands. " Mem, J. laid the 
plot of my ^ Volpone,' and wrote most of it, after a present of 

ten dozen of Palm Sack from my very good Lord T : 

that play, I am positive, will live to posterity, and be acted, 
when I and Envy be friends, with applause.'* — " Mem. The 
first speech in my * Catalina,' spoken by Sylla^s Ghost, was 
writ after I parted with my friend at the Devil tavern. I had 
drank well that night, and had brave notions. There is one 
scene in that play which I think is flat. I resolve to drink no 
more water with my wine." — *' Mem. Upon the 20th of May, 
the King (Heaven reward him !) sent me a hundred pounds. 
At that time I went often to the Devil ; and, before I had 
spent forty of it, wrote my ' Alchymist.' " — '* Mem. *■ The 
Devil an Ass,' the * Tale of a Tub,' and some other comedies, 
which did not succeed, written by me in the winter honest 
Ralph died, when I and my boys drank bad wine at the 
Devil." iEschylus wrote some of his tragedies under the 
influence of wine. 

Nor are the poets the only eulogists of wine. Some of the 

246 Facts towards a History of 

greatest names in history are to be found in the Hst. We find 
Mr. Burke furnishing reasons why the rich and the great 
should have their share of wine. He says, they are among 
the unhappy — they feel personal pain and domestic sorrow — - 
they pay their full contingent to the contributions levied on 
mortahty in these matters; — therefore they require this 
sovereign balm. " Some charitable dole," says he, " is 
wanting to these, our often very unhappy brethren, to fill 
the gloomy void that reigns in minds which have nothing on 
earth to hope or fear ; something to relieve the killing languor 
and over-laboured lassitude of those who have nothing to do." 

This observation of Mr. Burke's introduces it to our notice 
as a remedy — as a medicine, in the hands of the physician. 
Thus we find particular wines recommended by particular 
doctors, having a fashionable run as specifics : — at one time 
all the gouty people were drinking Madeira ; and many a man 
persuaded himself he had a fit of flying gout, for the sake of 
the remedy *. Somebody, however, found out that Madeira 
contained acid, and straight the cellars were rummaged for old 
Sherry. This change was attributed to Dr. Baillie, who had 
no more to do with it than Boerhaave, as he has been known 
to declare. Sherry, and nothing but Sherry, however, could 
or would the Podagras drink. 

Dr. Reynolds, who lived and practised very much with the 
higher orders, had a predilection for that noble and expensive 
comforter, Hoc ! which short word, from his lips, has often 
made the Doctor*s physic as costly as the Doctor's fee. He 
was of opinion, with the Poet — 

Hoc continet coagulum convivia ; 
Hoc hilaritatis dulce seminarium ; 
Hoc aegritudinem ad medendam inveniterunt. 

Wine has also been recommended, by the highest medical 
authorities, as alleviating the infirmities of old age. *' Le vin 

* An eminent house-painter in the City, a governor of St. Bartho- 
lomew's Hospital, got a receipt for the Painter's Cholic (cholica pictonura), 
which contained all sorts of comfortable things — the chief ingredients 
being Cogniac brandy and spices. It did wonders with the first two or 
three cases ; but he found the success of the remedy so increased the 
frequency of the complaint, that he was compelled to give up his medical 
treatment ; for as long as he had the Specifc, his men were constantly 
making wry faces at him, 

Eating f Drinking, and Sleeping, 247! 

est le lait des vieillards," says a French doctor ; and so Hora<:e 
before him : — 

Tu senum nutrix querelas benigno 
Lacte titillas. 

A Greek physician recommended it to Alexander as the pure 
blood of the earth. 

Though an excess in wine is highly blameable, yet it is more 
pardonable than most other excesses. The progressive steps 
to it are cheerful, animating, and seducing ; the melancholy 
are relieved, the grave enlivened, the witty and gay inspired — 
which is the very reverse of excess in eating : for, Nature 
satisfied, every additional morsel carries dulness and stupidity 
with it. " Every inordinate cup is unbless*d, and the ingredient 
is a devil,*' says Shakspeare. 

*' King Edgar, like a king of good fellows,'* adds Selden, 
'* or master of the revels, made a law for Drinking. He gave 
orders that studs, or knobs of silver or gold (so Malmesbury 
tells us), should be fastened to the sides of their cups, or 
drinking vessels, that when' every one knew his mark or 
boundary, he should, out of modesty, not either himself covet, 
or force another to desire, more than his stint." This is the 
only law, before the first parliament under King James, that 
has been made against those swill-bowls. 

Swabbers of drunken feasts, and lusty rowers. 
In full-brimmed rummers that do ply their oars, 

** who, by their carouses (tippling up Nestor's years as if they 
were celebrating the goddess Anna Perenna), do, at the same 
time, drink others' health, and mischief and spoil their own 
and the public." 

Amongst other reasons for taking a little wine, a French 
gentleman offers the following : — " Un amateur de bon vin 
faisait jadis ce joyeux raisonnement a son confesseur, qui le 
gourmandait sur son penchant a boire, en lui annon^ant qii'il 
ne ferait jamais son salut, s'il ne se corrigeait de cette passion : 
* Mon pere, le bon vin fait du bon sang ; le bon sang produit 
la bonne humeur ; la bonne humeur fait naitre les bonnes 
pensees ; les bonnes pensees produisent les bonnes ceuvres ; 
et les bomies oeuvres conduisent I'homme dans le ciel. 

248 Facts towards a History of 

* Ainsi soit-il,' rt^pondit le pasteur, convert! k son tour par 

son penitent." 

An argument very much after this fashion was held by the 

learned Sir Thomas More. Sir Thomas was sent ambassador 

to the Emperor by King Henry the Eighth. The morning he 

was to have his audience, knowing the virtue of wine, he 

ordered his servant to bring him a good large glass of Sack ; 

and, having drank that, called for another. The servant, with 

officious ignorance, would have dissuaded him from it, but in 

vain ; the Ambassador drank off a second, and demanded a 

third, which he likewise drank off: insisting on a fourth, he 

was over-persuaded by his servant to let it alone ; so he went 

to his audience. But when he returned home, he called for 

his servant, and threatened him with his cane. "You rogue," 

said he, *' what mischief have you done me ! I spoke so to 

the Emperor, on the inspiration of those three glasses that I 

drank, that he told me I was fit to govern three parts of the 

world. Now, you dog ! if 1 had drank the fourth glass, I had 

been fit to govern all the world." With such authority, may 

we not say — 

Bibe ; si sapis, bibe. 

The French, a very sober people, have a proverb — 

Quil faut, a chaqiie mois, 
S'enivrer au moins une fois. 

Which has been improved by some, on this side the water, 
into an excuse for getting drunk every day in the week, for 
fear that the specific day should be missed. It would, how- 
ever, startle some of our sober readers, to find this made a 
question of grave argument — yet, ^' whether it is not health- 
ful to be drunk once in a month,^' is treated on by Dr. Carr in 
his letters to Dr. Quincy. 

A French author has written a long 61oge " De rivressc,^' 
in which there is a chapter entitled, ** Qu'il est bon pour la 
sante de s'enivrer quelquefois." He sings in animated 
strains — 

Buvez, mes chers amis, et buvez a grands coups. 
Quels siecles de sante vous aurez devant vous ! 

Drink, my dear friends, and deeply too, 
Ages of health you'll have before you. 

Eating, Drinking^ and Sleeping, 249 

Having said thus much on the subject of wine-drinking, 
both as it relates to health and conviviality, it seems incum- 
bent on us to take some notice of the stronger 'potations re- 
sorted to in this country, by the middling and lower orders of 
society, in the joyous hilarity of public rejoicings, or the gay 
festivity of private merry-making*. Some ** cordial drop'* is 
required 5 and spirits being cheaper and stronger than wine, 
are resorted to in the shape of grog — rum-punch — or toddy. 

Now, though we would, if we could, laud — like the philoso- 
phers and poets of old — good wine, and would gladly take our 
share of it, with the philosophers and poets of the present day, 
yet we feel very dijQferently concerning dram-drinking. We 
are no advocates for the votaries of that power, who, of all 
the fabled divinities, treats his followers with most unkindness ; 
who repays their libations with malady, their songs with de- 
grading infirmities, their triumphs with defeat. 

*' Of all the contrivances to exclude the intruding demon 
Ennui from the mind of man, the most debasing and destruc- 
tive is, the use of intoxicating liquors ; that pernicious habit 
blunts all desire of improvement, deadens emulation, obscures 
the understanding, sinks the soul into sluggishness, renders 
men insensible to the love of reputation, familiarizes them 
with the idea of contempt, and extinguishes every enjoyment, 
but that maudlin delirium excited by spirituous liquors, which 
soon hurries them to their graves." 

Punch was first made by the English at Nemle, near Goa, 
where they have the JYepa die Goa, commonly called arrack. 

* Sir Joseph Banks used to tell a story of his being at Otaheite with 
Capt. Cook, when it was accidentally discovered to be the King's birth- 
day, on which it was suddenly agreed to have a jollification ; every soul 
on' board got fuddled, except three men who were on duty. The next 
day they came on deck, and hegged to speak to the captain. ** Well," 
said the captain, " what have you got to say ?" " Please your honour, 
you were all drunk yesterday, all except we three ; will your honour be 
pleased to allow us to get drunk to-day ?" Sir Joseph, who was standing 
by, was so tickled with the oddity of the request, that he begged they 
might be indulged, and that he would subscribe two bottles of rum, and 
two bottles of brandy. The boon was granted, and in less than three 
hours, these messmates balanced accounts, being as drunk as their hearts 
could wish. 

250 Facts towards a History of 

This fascinating liquor got the name of punch, from its being 
composed o^ five articles — that word, in the Hindostanee lan- 
guage, signifying five. The legitimate punch-makers, how- 
ever, consider it a compound of four articles only ; and some 
learned physicians have, therefore, named it Diapente (from 
Diatesseron), and have given it according to the following 
prescription — 

Rum, miscetur aqua — dulci miscetur acetum, iiet et ex tali foedere — 
nobile Punch. 

and our worthy grand-fathers used to take a dose of it every 
night in their lives, before going to bed, till Doctor Cheyne 
alarmed them by the information, that they were pouring liquid 
fire down their throats. *' Punch," said he, " is like opium, 
both in its nature and manner of operation, and nearest arsenic 
in its deleterious and poisonous qualities ; and, so," added he, 
"I leave it to them, who, knowing this, will yet drink on and die." 
Now, we cannot but think this philippic rather strong, and 
applicable only to strong punch, such, perhaps, as made such 
terrible depredations on the noble faculties of Sophia Wes- 
tern's waiting woman, Mrs. Honour. Fielding, Tfho under- 
stood the effects of this liquor exceedingly well, evidently 
hints, that the punch, in this case, must have been made of 
bad rum, from its making'" such terrible depredations on her 
noble faculties f for he says, ^* as soon as the smoke began to 
ascend to her pericranium, she lost her reason, while the fire 
in the stomach easily reached the heart, and inflamed the 
noble passion of pride !" p. 68. All this only proves that the 
mixture was not secundum artem, nor the dose properly pro- 

We argue thus also, from our own personal experience. 
Who, that has drunk this agreeable accompaniment to cala- 
pash, at the City of London Tavern, ever found themselves the 
worse for it ? They may have felt their genius inspired, or 
their nobler passions animated — but fire and inflammation 
there was none. The old song says — 

It is the very best of physic, 
and there have been very excellent physicians, who have con- 
firmed the opinion by their practice. What did the learned 
Dr. Sherard, the grave Mr. Petiver, and the apothecary Mr. 

Eating^ Drinking^ and Sleeping* 251 

Tydall, drink in their herborizing tour through Kent ? Why- 
punch ! and so much were they dehghted with it, at Winchel- 
sea, that they made a special note in their journal, in honour 
of the Mayoress, who made it, that the punch was not only 
excellent, but that *^ each succeeding bowl was better than 
the former!" 

Captain John Graunt, in his Observations on the Bills of 
Mortality, says, that of 229,250 persons, who died in twenty 
years, only tivo are put to the account of excessive drinking. 
But, perhaps, if the matter were truly stated, a great many of 
the dropsies, apoplexies, and palsies, ought to have been placed 
under that head. It is not impossible that those who had 
the charge of rendering these accounts, might have entertained 
the opinion of old Dick Baldwyn, who stoutly maintained that 
no man ever died of drinking. " Some puny things," said he, 
'* have died learning to drink, but no man ever died of drink- 
ing !" Now, this was no mean authority ; for he spoke from 
great practical experience, and was moreover many years 
treasurer of St. Bartholomew's hospital. 

III. — Sleeping. 
All agree in the value and necessity of sleep — 

Sleep, that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care ; 

The birth of each day's life, sore labour's bath, 

Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, 

Chief nourisher in life's feast — 
as Shakspeare has it — all of which is confirmed by philoso- 
phers, and poets, as well as by Sancho's homely opinion, that 
♦* it wraps round the heart like a blanket," for which he very 
emphatically exclaims, ** blessed be the man who invented it.'* 
With some, going to bed, and going to sleep, are synony- 
mous terms ; these persons, in nursery language, are said to 
** sleep like a top ;" whilst others ** sleep like a watch-dog," 
and count the clock from midnight till morn : amongst the 
most profound adepts of the former class, may be reckoned 
the guardians of the night. 

Though the necessity of sleep for the refreshment of the 
body be admitted, yet it is possible for a person to sleep a 
long night through, and be none the better for it, as is the case 

252 Facts towards a History of 

with those who are troubled with that most horrid of horrors, 
the nightmare. A ticket porter, who has been all day with a 
heavy load on his shoulders, does not feel half so much fa- 
tigued, as the person who has been carrying an imaginary 
chest of drawers on his sternum all night. Thus — 
"When man o'er-laboured with his being's strife, 
Shrinks not to sweet forgetfulness of life, 
but, dreams — he owns, with Hamlet, " there's the rub." 

A question has been raised, how much sleep is required, 
and how long it is necessary to be in bed, for the purpose of 
rest and refreshment. Eight hours have been allotted for the 
labourer, and six for the scholar and gentleman. 

Very few gentlemen, however, are satisfied with this scale ; 
and a capacity for sleeping makes the greater part of this class 
of the community inclined to double the period. The capa- 
city for sleeping, like the capacity for eating and drinking, is 
to be increased by indulgence. Much depends upon habit. 
Some people can sleep when they will, and wake when they 
will; and are as much refreshed with a short nap as a long 
one. Sea-faring people have this property from education. 
I have known persons who have never indulged in a second 
sleep. One gentleman, who entertained a notion that a second 
nap was injurious, invariably got up as soon as he awoke, no 
matter how early the hour — ^winter or summer. 

Others, again, will sleep for four-and-twenty hours. The 
celebrated Quin had this faculty. " What sort of a morning 
is it, John ?" ** Very wet, Sir." " Any mullet in the market ?" 
" No, Sir." " Then John, you may call me this time to-mor- 
row." So saying, he composed himself to sleep, and got rid 
of the ennui of a dull day, in the arms of Morpheus. 

One gentleman, in the Spectator, used to sleep by weight. 
" I allow myself, one night with another, a quarter of a pound 
of sleep, within a few grains, more or less ; and if upon my 
rising, I find I have not consumed my whole quantity, I take 
out the rest in my chair." — No. 25. 

A lazy old woman used to apologize for lying in bed, by 
saying that " she lay in bed to contrive." Si range as this old 
woman's excuse was, it was an example followed by one of 
the most extraordinary geniuses of this country, viz. Brindley, 

Eatings Drinking, and Sleeping. 253 

of whom it is recorded, that when any great difficulty occurred 
in the execution of his works, having little or no assistance 
from books, or the labours of other men, his resources lay 
within himself. In order, therefore, to be quiet, and uninter- 
rupted, whilst he was in search of the necessary expedients, he 
generally retired to his bed ; and he has been known to lie 
there one, two, or three days, till ho had obtained the object in 
view. He would then get up and execute his design without 
any drawing or model. 

There are different kind of sleepers, as well as different kinds 
of sleep : some cannot sleep from home — others cannot sleep 
at home ; some can sleep on a board, and snore on a carpet; 
while others tumble and toss on a soft bed, as if the down dis- 
concerted them. 

Some again cannot sleep in a noise ; others cannot sleep out 
of it. A miller awakens the moment the mill stops ; and a 
tradesman from Cheapside cannot sleep in the country, be- 
cause ** it is so plaguy quiet." 

Somnambulists, or sleep-walkers, usually sleep with their 
eyes open ; but without vision. Shakspeare, who may be con- 
sidered very good medical authority, makes Lady Macbeth 
a somnambulist with her eyes open — *' but their sense is shut." 
This is not always the case, however, and there is a singular 
exception, in the instance of Johannes Oporinus, a printer, 
who being employed one night in correcting the copy of a 
Greek book, fell asleep as he read, and yet ceased not to read, 
till he had finished not less than a whole page, of which, when 
he awoke, he retained no recollection. 

There are many curious histories of sleeping prodigies on 
record. The Philosophical Transactions have several : in one, 
a man slept from August till January. There is a case, read 
before a society of physicians, in 1756, of Elizabeth Orvin, 
who began her sleeping fit in 1738, by a four days' nap, and 
for ten years afterwards, never slept less than seventeen hours 
out of the four-and-twenty. Dr. Brady relates, that some 
strange methods were resorted to, to rouse her — such as rub- 
bing her back with honey, and in a hot day exposing her to a 
hive of bees, till her back was full of bumps ; — making a pin- 
cushion of her, and performing acu-puncturation, with pins and 

OCT.— DEC. 1828. T 

2Si Facts towards a History of 

needles ; — flagellation, and ** other odd experiments,'* which 
the Doctor informs us he thinks better " to pass over in 
silence,'* all of which might as well have been spared, for she 
was very sulky, and good-for-nothing, when she was awake. 
This sulkiness, however, should be noticed, as being connected 
with the complaint. Previously to this somnolent disease, 
many of the persons have become uneasy, sullen, and surly. 
In all, the mind has evidently been affected ; and in some, 
where there has been extreme abstinence, their waking hours 
have been characterized by decided mental aberration. 

A lady in perfect health, twenty-three years of age, was 
asked by the parents of a friend to be present at a severe 
surgical operation. On consideration, it was thought wrong 
to expose her to such a scene, and the operation was post- 
poned for a few hours. She went to bed, however, with 
the imagination highly excited, and awoke in alarm, hearing, 
or thinking she heard, the shrieks of her friend under the 
agony of ah operation. Convulsions and hysterics super- 
vened, and on their subsiding, she went into a profound sleep, 
which continued sixty-three hours. The most eminent of 
the faculty were then consulted, and she was cupped, which 
awoke her ; but the convulsions returned, and she again went 
to sleep, and slept with few intermissions for a fortnight. For 
the next twelve months, she remained perfectly well. The 
sleeping began again without any apparent cause, which, in 
irregular periods, continued for ten or twelve years, the length 
of the sleeping fits being from thirty to forty hours, diminished 
in duration as time went on, till she got well. Then arrived 
irritability, and total want of sleep, for three months, which 
was succeeded by aberration of mind. This state continued 
about six months, when, to the relief of her friends, her sleep- 
ing fits returned, and were very regular in their periods, both 
as to arrival and duration. 

Her usual time for sleeping was forty-eight hours. She 
would in the intermediate day be very well, till twelve at night, 
when she went to bed. Sometimes she would awake for a few 
minutes, take some warm fluid, which was always kept ready 
with a lamp ; but found any effort to remain awake unavailing, 
and the bare notion of attempting it gave her great horror. 

Eating f Drinkiny^ and Sleeping, 255 

Amongst the sleepy people of modern times, the case of 
Elizabeth Perkins, of Morley St. Peter, in Norfolk, should be 
noticed as a case somewhat resembling that just alluded to. 
For a considerable time she was very regular in her times of 
waking, which was once in seven days, after which they 
became irregular and precarious, and, though of shorter 
duration, they were equally profound ; and every attempt at 
keeping her awake, or awaking her, were vain. Various expe- 
riments were tried ; and an itinerant empiric, elated with the 
hope of rousing her from what he called " her counterfeit 
sleep," blew into her nostrils the powder of white hellebore, 
being a very powerful sternutative ; but the poor creature 
remained insensible to the inhumanity of the deed, which, 
instead of producing the boasted effect, excoriated the skin of 
her nose, lips, and face. 

Buonaparte was polite enough to say to a gentleman, 
" J'irai dormir vite pour vous;" from which we may con- 
clude, that he possessed some of the properties of the man 
who advertised, in the Spectator, that he intended to sleep at 
the Cock and Bottle, in Little Britain. 

The following account of this affair is from a scarce tract in 
the British Museum : — '^ The sleepy man awakened of his 
five days' dream ; being a most strange and wonderful true 
account of one Nicholas Heart, a Dutchman, a patient of St 
Bartholomew**s Hospital, in West Smithfield, who sleeps five 
days every August : and you have a true relation how his 
mother fell in one of her sleeps on the first of August, she 
then being near the time of her labour ; and on the fifth day 
she wakened, and was delivered. As soon as he was born, he 
sleeped for five days and five nights : together with the true 
dream which he and his mother dreamt every year alike. But 
what is more particular than all the rest, he gives an account 
of one Mr. William Morgan, who he saw hurried to a dismal, 
dark castle ; and one Mr. John Paimer, he saw him going 
into a place of bliss : these two men were patients in the 
hospital, and dy'd while he was in his sleep. London : 
printed by Edward Midwinter, at the Sun, Pye Corner, 
Smithfield." We have here given the whole of the title, 
which tells nearly all about this sleepy set. 


256 A Geological and Geographical Sketch 

A Geological and Geographical Sketch of the Island of St, 
Christopher. Communicated hy I. C. Lees, Esq. 

The island of St. Christopher is situated in 17° 16' N. lat., 
and 62° 31 W. long. ; it lies about S. E. and N. W. To the 
eastward of it is Antigua, distant about fifty miles ; to the 
northward, St. Bartholomew and St. Martin, distant about thirty 
miles ; to the westward, St. Eustatia and Saba, the former 
distant about ten, the latter about fifteen miles ; Nevis is to 
the S. E., distant about eight miles from the town of Basse- 
terre, but not more than one mile from the extremity of the 
island, which stretches in a narrow neck of irregular hills 
in that direction, and terminates in a nook, somewhat resem- 
bling the head of a violin. It is one of the most beautiful, 
and formerly the most productive, of the sugar colonies; 
its original Indian name, " Liamuiga," signified the fertile 

This island is entirely composed of volcanic matter, in some 
places alternating with submarine productions. The principal 
mountain is situated at the western end of the island ; it is an 
exhausted volcano, called in books of navigation, charts, &c.. 
Mount Misery ; the inhabitants, however, do not call the whole 
mountain by that name, but only a part of it, which consists of 
a large aggregate of rock on its summit, forming the N.W. 
side of the crater. The summit of this mountain is 3711 feet 
above the sea ; it appears, as far as I could judge, to consist of 
large masses of volcanic rocks, roasted stones, cinders, pumice, 
and iron-clay. The whole extent of land, to the sea-shore on 
either side, may be considered as the base of this mountain, as 
it rises with a pretty steep ascent towards it ; but from the 
part which is generally considered the foot of the mountain, it 
takes a sudden rise of an average angle of about 50°. To the 
east another chain of mountains runs, of a similar formation, 
though of inferior height. On the summits of these there are 
no remains that indicate their having ever possessed a crater : 
so that whether any of them have originally been volcanoes, or 
whether they have been formed by an accumulation of matter 
thrown out of Mount Misery, it is difficult to decide. That 

of the Island of St. Christopher. 257 

the low lands have been thrown from the mouth of the volcano 
is evident, from the regular strata of volcanic substances of 
which they consist; these too are interspersed with masses of 
volcanic rock, and other stones, some of the lesser ones entirely 
roasted through, and some of the larger ones to certain depths 
from their surfaces. Masses, also, of iron-clay, inclosing vari- 
ous pebbles, which have been burnt into a kind of red brick, 
are abundantly found in many places. There is scarcely any 
thing that can be called a path, or even a track, to the mouth 
of the crater of Mount Misery 5 indeed, there are but few 
whose curiosity is sufficiently strong to induce them to under- 
take this expedition. The common course for those who do, 
is to take a negro man as a guide, with a cutlass, or large knife, 
to clear away the underwood, and form a kind of path as he 
goes on. The ascent is very irregular, in some places being 
gentle, in others almost perpendicular ; in which case the hands 
are obliged to assist the operations of the feet. In wet weather, 
the ascent of this mountain is extremely laborious, as a great 
part of it consists of clay, which then becomes so slippery as to 
render the getting up almost impracticable. About half-way 
up on the south side, and in a very pretty, romantic situation, 
there is a natural spring of remarkably cool water. On the 
north side, at about the same height, there is a water-fall, 
which, though small and insignificant in itself, has a pleasing 
appearance, as it rushes over the rocks, and through the trees 
and shrubs. This mountain is thickly clothed with wood, 
which in many places not only excludes the rays of the sun, but 
produces a sombre, gloomy appearance ; this, with the occa- 
sional plaintive coo of the mountain dove (the only sound 
heard at this height), creates in the mind sensations of pleas- 
ing melancholy. In some parts an open space suddenly 
appears, from whence the whole country below bursts unex- 
pectedly upon the view, which has, as may be supposed, an 
extremely fine effect. The thermometer, on the top of the 
mountain when the author visited it, stood at 65, being a dif- 
ference of 15 degrees from the low lands, where it stood at 80*^. 
The descent into the crater on the north and east sides, is 
perfectly perpendicular ; on the south and west sides, it slopes at 

258 A Geological and Geographical Sketch 

an avemge angle of not more than 18 or 20 degrees from the per- 
pendicular, consequently, persons descending are often obliged 
to let themselves down by clinging to projecting corners of 
rocks, or the branches and roots of shrubs, which grow all the 
way down ; nor is this mode of travelUng particularly safe, for 
should any of these give way, the consequence would probably 
be highly dangerous. The bottom of the crater, which, as 
nearly as I could estimate, is about 2500 feet below the sum- 
mit of the mountain, and contains about forty-five, or fifty 
acres, may be said to be divided into three parts : the lowest 
side (to the south) consists of a large pond or lake, formed 
entirely by the rain-water collected from the sides of the crater — 
accordingly its extent is greater or less, as the season is wet or 
dry ; the centre part is covered with small ferns, palms, and 
shrubs, and some curious species of moss ; the upper part, 
to the north, is that which is called the Soufriere. The 
ground here consists of large beds of pipe-clay, in some 
places perfectly white, in others of a bluish or black colour, 
from the presence of iron pyrites. These are intermixed with 
masses and irregular beds of grey cinders and scoriae, pumice, 
various kinds of lava, lithomarge, and fuller's earth. Amidst 
these beds of clay, there are several hot springs, small, but boil- 
ing with much violence, and emitting large quantities of steam. 
A rumbling noise is heard under the whole of this part of the 
crater. The hot springs are not stationary, but suddenly dis- 
appear, and burst up in another place. The ground in many 
parts is too hot to be walked upon : a great quantity of sul- 
phuretted hydrogen gas is likewise emitted, which is exceed- 
ingly disagreeable to the smell ; and occasionally such a volume 
of it arises, as is almost suffocating, and resembles much the 
smell of rotten eggs. The watches of the author and his com- 
panion during his visit, and every article of gold or silver 
about their persons, were in a few moments turned perfectly 
black, from the effect of this gas. 

The water from the springs is strongly impregnated with the 
sulphates of alumine and iron ; it is, indeed, almost a satu- 
rated solution of them. In every direction about these springs, 
pure sulphur is crystallized in minute but beautiful crystals on 

€)/ the Island of St Christopher. 259 

the scoria? ; it is also found in a state of sublimation. Crystals 
of alum are also abundant. The quantity of iron and sulphur 
about the springs, I think, renders it easy to account for them, 
from the well known action of iron upon sulphur in moist 
places. The heat occasioned thereby would be sufficient to 
cause the violent boiling of the water; and also to sublime part 
of the sulphur, and to convert another part of it (assisted by 
part of the oxygen of the water) into sulphuric acid, which 
latter, acting upon the clay and (with the assistance of water) 
upon the iron, forms the alum and the sulphate of iron. Wa- 
ter is composed of oxygen and hydrogen ; when it is deprived of 
any part of its oxygen, a correspondent portion of hydrogen is 
set loose. I have said above, that the heated sulphur absorbs 
part of the oxygen of the water, and forms sulphuric acid ; 
another portion is absorbed in the formation of the sulphate of 
iron. A considerable quantity of hydrogen is consequently set 
at liberty, which, dissolving part of the sulphur, forms the sul- 
phuretted hydrogen gas already described. I found some 
pieces of clay, red on the outside, and bluish-green within. 
These were, doubtless, at first, pieces of perfectly white clay, 
which being saturated by a solution of green sulphate of iron, 
of course assumed the colour ; but in a very short lime, green 
sulphate of iron absorbs oxygen from the atmosphere, and be- 
comes converted into the red oxide : the red colour to a small 
distance from the exterior of the clay had been occasioned by 
this action of the atmosphere ; but the interior, being defended 
from it, retained its green impregnation. 

It is well known to those who are at all acquainted with the 
rules of perspective, that when a person stands immediately 
contiguous to the base of a perpendicular height, it appears to 
bend over him, and the greater the height, the more the de- 
ception is increased ; this is eminently the case in this crater: 
for, when you stand close under Mount Misery, it appears to 
be rent from its natural position, and to hang directly over 
your head, as if it were instantly about to fall. For the same 
reason, all the sides of the crater, when you are at the bottom 
of it, appear more overhanging or perpendicular than they 
really are ; and as there is, almost continually, a heavy, dense 
body of clouds, resting on the summit of the mountain, the 

260 A Geographical and Geological Sketch 

mouth of the crater appears to be shut up, and the possibiUty 
of getting out almost precluded. This, with the associations 
which are naturally formed in a person's mind, when he recol- 
lects that he is in the bowels of a volcano, gives the whole a 
gloomy and awful aspect. A musket, fired from a particular 
spot in this crater, afforded an interesting illustration of one of 
the laws of sound ; for the report was repeated distinctly seven 
times, and the two first and two last echoes were consider- 
ably louder than the intermediate ones — appearing as if the 
sound had struck at seven points, in its passage round the sides 
of the crater, commencing with those nearest to where it ori- 
ginated, and returning to the same spot, after having per- 
formed its circuit. The ascent from the crater is, as may be 
supposed from its steepness, extremely laborious. 

To reach the summit of the rock of Mount Misery, it 
is necessary to take a different course from that which 
leads to the crater, commencing on the opposite or north 
side of the mountain. This is an extremely fatiguing un- 
dertaking. About one-third part of the way up in this 
direction, there commences an extraordinary natural path, 
lying along the top of a ridge of rock, very remarkable for 
its thinness and height, being mostly not more than from 
two to four feet wide on '^the top, while its sides descend 
almost perpendicularly to the depth of from one to two hun- 
dred feet ; thus, as it were, forming a gigantic wall, up the 
centre of an immense ravine. All along the top of this ridge, 
however, narrow as it is, there are trees and shrubs in abun- 
dance, most of the large ones hanging over the precipice as 
if they could scarcely remain a moment in their situation. 
This ridge continues, I think, about two-thirds of the way up 
the mountain, and in the part above it, there is a very sen- 
sible change in the air and in the appearanceof the vegetation. 
The former begins to feel very cool, and the latter becomes 
stunted and low. Proceeding on, these changes are still more 
observable ; the traveller is now above the regions of those 
plants which have hitherto adorned his path. The cabbage- 
tree no longer waves its graceful branches, nor does the 
rough but beautiful tree-fern rear its stately form upon these 
heights; the ground is covered with low, succulent plants, 

of the Island of St, Christopher, 261 

not higher than the knee ; most of them are so formed as to 
retain, in the interstices of their leaves, a considerable quantity 
of water, with which they are abundantly supplied by the 
heavy vapours, which almost continually clothe the summit of 
the mountain. The ascent here becomes almost perpendi- 
cular, in some parts perfectly so ; in consequence of which, 
it requires the constant exertion both of the hands and feet to 
climb up it. In laying hold of the plants to drag himself up, 
the water is thrown from them all over the traveller, so that 
he is in a continual shower-bath ; this water, too, is very cold, 
which quality, being assisted by the sharpness of the air, 
absolutely makes the teeth chatter. The weather had been 
rather moist, for a short time previous to the author's ascent; 
perhaps, therefore, he saw a larger collection of this water 
than he would have done in a dry season. It may, however, 
be fairly concluded, that even in dry weather the rivers re- 
ceive some supplies from the moisture which these plants at- 
tract from the clouds, as they pass among them. 

The way up the parts of the mountain I have just been de- 
scribing is not very safe, as the roots and plants by which it 
is necessary to cling are very slight, slippery and rotten, and 
the breaking of them frequently exposes the climber to a con- 
siderable fall. All the mountain hereabouts is covered, to a 
considerable depth, with a rich, black, vegetable mould, formed 
by the long accumulation of decayed plants. The summit of 
the rock appears but small from the country below, and seems 
to end in a sharp ridge ; but when you are near its summit, it 
has a gigantic appearance, and on the top of it are several 
acres of level land. The view from it is most extensive and 
beautiful ; the whole island of St. Christopher is seen below, 
like a miniature picture ; the ships in Nevis roads appear 
almost under you, as does the island of St. Eustatia ; the sea 
is as a sheet of blue glass, and the distant ships are like white 
specks upon its surface. The islands of Saba, St. Martin, St. Bar- 
tholomew, Martinique, Barbuda, Antigua, Montserrat, and Re 
dondo rock, are also very plainly seen. The effect of this exten- 
sive view is greatly heightened, by its being occasionally disclosed 
in a kind of coup-d'oeil ; for, as before observed, the summit of 
the mountain is almost always wrapt in clouds, which now 

262 A Geographical and Geological Sketch 

and then break, and suddenly disperse by a gust of wind ; so 
that from being enveloped in a thick gloomy fog, which pre- 
vents you from seeing more than a few yards before you, you 
find yourself in an instant, and almost as if by magic, in a most 
brilliant sunshine, surrounded by a prospect magnificent and 
extensive in every direction. In descending, the author 
travelled a very considerable distance, and with great rapidity, 
by sitting down and allowing himself to slip over the long, 
smooth, wet leaves of plants, of a liliaceous appearance, with 
which the upper part of the mountain is thickly clothed. 

Brimstone Hill is about two miles from the foot of the above 
described mountain, three from the west end of the island, and 
half a mile from the sea shore on the south side. On it are 
the principal fortifications of the island. It is composed of a 
mass of madrepore limestone, and covered by many kinds of 
volcanic substances, heaped together in great confusion. 
There are, in many parts of it, abundance of the red and yel- 
low oxides of iron ; and I am told that, in digging the founda- 
tions for the fortifications, some masses of native vermilion 
"Nvere found. This singular hill appears more like a stupendous 
artificial mound, raised for a fortification, than like a pro- 
duction of nature. It is seated on a gentle slope, but does not 
appear at all to have been formed at the same time \yith the 
plain it rests upon, as the latter has not the least slope towards 
its base, but runs in its natural inclination from the mountains 
to the sea ; while Brimstone Hill rises abruptly from it, at 
about an angle of 55 degrees, to the height of 715 feet, and is 
formed almost entirely of white madrepore limestone, whereas 
the circumjacent plain is composed of strata of cinders, pumice, 
terrass, and other volcanic matters ; it must, therefore, either 
have been raised up by some subterranean explosion, or have 
been hurled from the mouth of the volcano* In some of the in- 
termediate spaces between the heads of the mountains, are plains 
of some extent, nearly flat, — these are called levels. They are 
well covered with grass, and are free from shrubs or wood, so 
that, when they are accessible, they form good pastures for cattle. 
The principal of these is Spooner's level, situated about the 
centre of the range of mountains. It is a plain of considerable 
size, which, from the height at which it is situated, is in an at- 

of the Island of St Christopher, 263 

mosphere considerably cooler than that of the low lands. It is 
well covered with grass ; and having in various parts of it clumps 
of trees, bears a strong resemblance to a park in England. The 
mountain heads which surround it, covered with their thick, 
dark foliage, and magnificent ferns, have a very fine effect, and 
give a degree of grandeur to the scenery, which is heightened 
by the vicinity of the clouds that gather round the mountain 
tops. These, sometimes meeting, form an arch that entirely 
excludes the rays of the sun ; and then suddenly dispersing, 
occasion a surprising and instantaneous transition from gloom 
to brightness. Close to the level, there is a curious and large 
ravine, called Nine-turn Gut — Nine-turn, from there being 
nine windings in the path leading down it — and Gut, from the 
rather coarse appellation which is commonly given, in this 
island, to a ravine. In the centre of this ravine, and border- 
ing one side of the path, is a large chasm, of so great a depth, 
that a stone thrown into it cannot be heard to strike the bot- 
tom. All the mountains in this country are scored by deep 
ravines ; and frequently, after continued falls of heavy rain, the 
water rushes down them in such quantities, and with such 
force, that it does considerable damage to the plantations below. 
The little streams of water, which they dignify here by the 
name of rivers, are formed by the rains, which fall in the 
upper part of the mountains, and which, gradually pene- 
trating the strata of earth, are collected in two or three of the 
largest ravines, and run in small rivulets to the sea. Such 
are Old Road River, and Cayon River ; in a very dry season 
they are nearly exhausted. 

The upper stratum, on the low lands near Basse-terre, is a 
soil so full of black volcanic cinder, and minute fragments of 
augite, that in damp weather it appears quite black. The stra- 
tum of soil about the hills, and on the western parts of the island, 
is nearly free from these substances, and is, consequently, of a 
lighter colour. This upper stratum of soil reposes on a bed 
of terrass, which, being free from the least particle of decayed 
animal or vegetable substance, is totally unfit for the support 
of vegetable life. In some places, this terrass is of a very 
considerable depth ; in others it is only a thin stratum, resting 
on, or alternating with, grey or black cinders, pumice or 

264 A Geological and Geographical Skeich 

scoriae. These strata of black and grey cinders and scoriae, 
with small crystals of augite and quartz, interspersed with 
masses of different sorts of volcanic rocks and lava, compose 
the eastern side of the island. Towards Sandy Point, more 
pumice occurs ; and the strata of black cinders and grey ones, 
or pumice mingled with scoriae (which is called here Botheration) , 
become very distinct and well defined. More to the north, 
towards Deep Bay, there are some solid blocks or currents of 
lava. There is a remarkable chasm or hole, just above Sandy 
Point, called Tomber Hole, from the circumstance of a French 
dragoon, with his horse, having fallen into it and been killed, 
at the time the French had possession of the island. This 
hole is perfectly circular, and of nearly an acre in extent. It 
appears as if a portion of land had suddenly sunk, by the 
giving way of some subterraneous cavern, to the depth of 80 
or 100 feet. The sides are perpendicular, and the bottom is 
covered wtth trees and shrubs : its sides exhibit regular strata 
of black and grey cinders, and pumice : a large quantity of 
vegetable mould appears to have collected at the bottom of it. 
In the narrow neck of land which stretches from the south- 
east of the island, there is an extensive natural salt pond, 
from which considerable quantities of salt are occasionally 
gathered. Near the pond, there is a large quantity of sulphate 
of lime, which occurs in lamellar, semi-transparent masses : of 
this no use is made. The principal anchorage of the island is 
in Basse-terre roads, on the south-east side, which is much 
exposed to the south and south-west winds. Now, the 
hurricanes almost always commence from that quarter, so that 
vessels lying in the roads, on the appearance of a gale, gene- 
rally endeavour to put to sea : those that cannot do so, run 
the most imminent hazard of being driven ashore. At Deep 
Bay, on the north-west side, there is a bay, sheltered by an 
extensive reef, through which there is one narrow passage, but 
not sufficiently large to admit any other than small-sized 
vessels. The getting in is certainly rather dangerous ; but 
when it is once accomplished, a vessel is much better secured 
from the violence of the sea than in the other parts of the 
island. On either side of the passage, through the reef, are 
large rocks, called the Dogs, over which the sea dashes with 

of the Island of St. Christopher, 265 

great violence, when the wind is from the northward. The reef 
consists of common massive quartz and carbonate of hme ; it 
is covered with coral, branching out in every direction, and 
having an exceedingly beautiful appearance in calm weather. 

List and Description of Mineral Substances found in the 
Island of St. Christopher. 

Common massive Quartz, white, with reddish brown veins, 
shining vitreous lustre, fracture uneven, scratches glass, strikes 
fire with steel. Found on the reef at Deep Bay, and in some 
other parts of the island. 

Vesicular Lava, found in great abundance in the crater of 
Mount Misery, and in many parts of the island ; of a blackish, 
glassy appearance, with white specks, full of holes and cavities. 

Limestone, hard and compact, of a light brown colour, dull, 
fracture flat conchoidal, passing to uneven, yields to the knife. 
On the reef at Deep Bay, and in some other places. 

Sulphate of Lime, or Selenite, is found near the Salt Ponds, 
white, shining [)early, semi-transparent, yields to the nail, 
occurs massive, with straight lamellar structure. 

Olivine, and Leucite embedded in black Lava, is one of the 
most common rocks in all parts of the country. It is very 
hard and fine grained, of a dusky black, full of glistening 
white specks, and uneven fracture. 

Leucite, embedded in red Lava, particularly prevalent in the 
cliff at Old-Road Bay, giving the whole a red appearance ; 
colour, several shades of red, with white and brown specks ; 
hard, fracture uneven. A great quantity is found in a state of 
decomposition, forming a red mould. 

Vesicular Lava, light reddish brown, with white specks, 
rough and friable, full of holes and minute pores. 

Three varieties of Lithomarge : — 1. perfectly white, very 
soft, falling readily to powder; 2. brown, speckled white; 
3. flesh red ; both harder than the first : found in the crater, 
and the last in some other places, particularly on the hills 
north-east of Basse-terre. This is dull, earthy, unctuous to 
the touch, adheres strongly to the tongue, and contains a great 
quantity of magnesia. 

266 A Geological and Geographical Sketch 

Fullers* Earth is found in most parts of the island, of a 
light yellowish, brown, and olive-green colour. It occurs 
massive, fracture earthy, uneven, yields easily to, and receives 
a polish from, the nail, and falls to pieces in water. 

Volcanic Rock, of a bluish grey colour, passing into pumice ; 
very common. 

Shale, of a light ochrey yellow, or pinkish brown colour ; 
fracture large, conchoidal, earthy, and uneven ; dull, opaque, 
meagre ; adheres firmly to the tongue, yields to the nail. 

Masses of small stones and sand, embedded in iron-clay, 
and burnt into a kind of red brick. 

Pipe Clay, nearly pure, is found, in large beds, in the 
crater of Mount Misery. 

Alum and Sulphur, crystallized, are also found in the crater. 

Alumine, full of minute iron pyrites, giving it a bluish 
black colour, abounds in the crater: these are easily sepa- 
rated by dissolving the clay in a glass of water. 

Alumine, mixed, more or less, with yellow ochre, is found 
on many of the hills, particularly to the eastward. 

Greenish brown Lava, very thickly speckled with leucite, 
is often found to be the interior of a stone that appears dirty 
red without. 

Vesicular Lava, greyish white, very full of pores and black 
glittering spots, is very common. 

Leucite, in porous black lava, occurs in large masses. This, 
as well as some of the other lava rocks, is called '* fire-stone," 
and is used for building the furnaces of boiling houses, &c., 
where great heat is required. 

Augite appears in great abundance wherever there is a black 
soil. It occurs in small broken prismatical crystals, shining, 
transparent, blackish green, translucent, scratches glass with 

Terrass, of a reddish brown colour, forms the first stratum 
under the vegetable mould in most parts of the island, parti- 
cularly the east end. It is used with lime in the composition 
of mortar. 

Soft white Carbonate of Lime, containing madrepores, 
composes the principal part of Brimstone Hill. 

Siliceous Sand, consisting of minute particles of dark green, 

' of the Island of St Christopher. 267 

yellow, and white transparent quartz, mingled with powdered 
shells, is that which is found on the sea-shores. The dark- 
coloured quartz predominates so much as to give the sand 
a blackish appearance. 

Pumice, ScoricB, and Volcanic Ashes^ are everywhere 

In many places, the volcanic rocks are met with, in all 
stages, from incipient to absolute decomposition. 

Remarks on the Discovery of some Fossil Bones in France, 
By John Ranking, Esq. 
The bones discovered at Breingues, in the Departement du 
Lot, have been noticed by M. Cuvier. The following descrip- 
tion is by M. Delpon : — " In various points of the calcareous 
portion of Quercy, there are remains of an entrenchment 
formed of blocks of stone, in straight lines or circular inci- 
sures . The most remarkable of these inclosures occupy the 
summit of two mountains of the Commune de Breingues, in 
the circle of Figeac, one on the right, and the other on the left 
bank of the Sele. On the rocks of the right bank, there are 
several cavities or grottoes, before which some vestiges of build- 
ings are seen ; a circumstance which presents itself in the 
greater number of grottoes with which the rocks along the Lot, 
the Seld, &c., are perforated. In 1816, the population of 
Breingues, in hope of finding concealed treasure, were occu- 
pied in digging among these grottoes, and came to one, the 
entrance to which was choked up with earth : here, at the 
depth of three feet, they found the bones of a human body, 
and an iron instrument resembling a fork with two prongs. 
They then dug in a perpendicular direction to the depth of 
eighteen metres ; but the natural cavity, which hitherto was in 
a straight direction, here presented three cavities also filled up 
with earth and stones. On coming near the first grotto, they 
were arrested by three large stones placed above one another 
by the hand of man. These stones had evidently been long 
exposed to the open air before they were removed thus far 
under ground, each being of a reddish colour on one of its 
faces ; like all those which are at the present day raised from 

268 Discover^/ of Fossil Bones in France, 

the surface of the ground ; the opposite face was covered with 
mosses and byssi. Here, instead of treasure, they found a pro- 
digious quantity of bones, some mingled with earth and stones, 
and others very carefully placed in narrow fissures of the 
rock. Several heads of a species of deer, now unknown, and 
other bones, were discovered, without any mixture of earth, in 
a small cavity, covered over with a rude slab placed with great 
care. Here and there, the mass of stones and common soil 
was interrupted by small quantities of an alluvial earth of clay 
and sand, like that which the river Sele deposits at the present 
day : but no current of water could have brought them there ; 
they had been formed by men, since some were pressed, regu- 
larly arranged, and surrounded with very white calcareous 
stones, which must have been soiled by water, had it deposited 
these alluvial matters so regularly. The elevation of this 
grotto, being 300 metres above the river, precluded the 
idea that the waters of the Sele could have reached it. 
The other galleries presented nothing but bones placed in the 
same manner ; the whole together would have formed a mass 
of more than twenty cubic metres. Some of them were en- 
crusted, and others inclosed in a calcareous breccia with a 
crystalline paste. The greater number were so well preserved, 
that they looked as if the flesh had been recently detached 
from them ; but as soon as they were exposed to the external 
air they became scaly and whitish. Among them were a skull 
and three teeth of a rhinoceros, three species of deer now un- 
known upon the globe : the horns have some resemblance to 
those of a young rein-deer, the fragments of the horn of a large 
deer, equally unknown, but allied to the common stag, the hume- 
rus of a large ox, and a horse's femur. M. Delpon infers from 
the existence of these foreign animals on our soil, a diminution 
of temperature ; and in an historical view he supposes the bones 
are remains of the sacrifices of the Druids. We are of opinion 
that they are of a date much anterior to the Druids, and even 
to the establishment of the human species in these countries ; 
and that their regular arrangement is the result of the supersti- 
tion of the first inhabitants, or the amusement of herdsmen." 
— Bulletin Universel^ Nov. 1825*. 

* Edinb. Phil. Journal, April, 1826. 

. Discovery of Fossil Bones in France, 269 

Monsieur Delpon has, perhaps, been led by the circular dis- 
position of the stones to suppose the Druidical origin ; but the 
Druids were not very likely to possess rhinoceroses. 

Quercy is now named Departement du Lot ; Cahors, on the 
banks of that river, was the capital of the Cadurci, Uxellodu- 
num, so called from being high and lofty^, is a few miles east 
of Cahors, by the river Sel6f , which runs into the Lot. There 
is every probability and evidence that these bones are of Ro- 
man origin. 

** Julius Caesar was informed what resolution the people of 
Usseldon (Uxellodunum) had taken ; wherefore, ordering Q. 
Calenus to follow after him by moderate marches, he went 
before with all the cavalry to Caninius ; on his arrival, he 
found Usseldon so well invested, that the enemy could not 
escape. Caesar was informed that they had plenty of corn, 
and was, therefore, resolved to cut off their supply of water. 
There was a river that divided the plain below, which almost 
surrounded the craggy hill upon which Usseldon was built, on 
every side. The stream ran so low that it could not be drained ; 
but the descent to the river was so steep, that the besieged 
could not approach it without being wounded by the Romans ; 
Caesar, therefore, guarded the place easiest of approach, with 
archers, slingers, and engines. Close under the walls, for 300 
feet, where the river did not run, there was a plentiful spring. 
Here, with great labour, Caesar began to cast up a mount, but 
many of his men were wounded. A mount was raised sixty 
feet high, and a tower of ten stories was constructed as high as 
the top of the spring, not to the top of the walls, for that was 
impossible. Engines were planted to play upon the access to 
the fountain ; and now the cattle and several men perished 
with thirst. The enemy filled barrels with grease, pitch, and 
bits of wood, and rolled them blazing upon the battery, fight- 
ing furiously at the same moment. The works took fire 
wherever the barrels were stopped. The Romans exposed 
themselves to the flames, and the showers of darts ; Caesar 

* Camden's Britannia, vol. i., p. 5. 

t Bowen's ancient map. Sanson inclined to think that Uxellodunum 
was Cahors itself; but Bladen denies that. See his ** Address to the 
Reader," p. 9. 

OCT.— DEC 1828. U 

270 Discovery of Fossil Bones in France, 

finding many of his troops were wounded, ordered his cohorts 
to ascend the hill on every side, as if to scale the walls, which 
alarmed the enemy, and gave time to quench the flames. 
The spring was now diverted from its course ; and after an ob- 
stinate resistance, the enemy, in despair, surrendered. Caesar, 
finding a severe and striking example was necessary, ordered 
the hands to be cut off of all those in Usseldon who had borne 
arms against him *." 

If we add to this, that there was an amphitheatre at Ca^ 
hors -f- ; the improbability that the bones of the horse, ox, and 
some of the deer, being of what are termed of extinct species ; 
and that no large animal was more frequently exhibited than 
the rhinoceros, — who can doubt that this collection of bones, 
so evidently placed by design, in the careful positions de- 
scribed by M. Delpon, is the produce of Roman sports ? 

" In Auvergne^ now Puy-de-Dome, principally in Mount 
Perrier, near the Issoire, there have been found very lately, in 
volcanic tufa, bones of thirty species of animals ; and a large 
proportion of them prove to be extinct and hitherto unknown 
quadrupeds. Among them are an elephant, a small masto- 
don, a rhinoceros, hippopotamus, small tapir, many of the 
genus cervus, two bears, three panthers, a hysena, a fox, an 
otter J. The bear is similar to the extinct species found in 
the hyaina cave at Torquay, in Devonshire, and those in the 
Val d'Arno, discovered with the remains of an elephant || ." 

These animals are all similar to such other collections, in 
numerous places where Romans resided, or where ruins of am- 
phitheatres exist. 

The Arverni were powerful opponents of the Romans. " Ver^ 
cingetorix was grandson to the commander of Gaul, and his 
father had been put to death by the Romans ; he rebelled, 
was elected king, and entered into a league with the people of 
Paris, Poictou, Quercy (at each of which there are the re- 
mains of an amphitheatre), and other places. When Caesar 
with his army arrived near Gergovia (said to be Clermont), 
Vercingetorix had encamped his numerous troops on all the 

* Caesar's Com. by Bladen, b. viii. c. ix. 

t Rees's Cyc. " Cahors." 

X Quarterly Rev., Sep. 1826,p. 511. || Quart. Rev., Oct. 1827, p.402. 

Discovery of Fosail Bones in France, 271 

hills round about, which made a dreadful appearance. All 
his chief nobles attended every morning at his levde, and no 
day passed without his sending out detachments to skirmish 
with the Romans. At length, after a hot encounter, in 
which the Romans lost forty-six centurions, and Caesar him- 
self lost his sword, the Romans retreated *. The brave Gauls, 
with 248,000 troops, carried on the war, but were defeated, 
and their king was captured f ." 

The Arverni claimed a common descent with the Romans ; 
and when we consider their power, bravery, and character, it 
seems improbable that they should not have been amused 
with the same grand sports, as their confederates enjoyed after 
they were subdued. We find that Vespasian indulged the 
Britons with two amphitheatres, in the part of the island 
where he met with the greatest opposition, having fought thirty 

With respect to these fossil bones, the hippopotamus is 
African, the tapir probably Asiatic, (as the Romans had the 
power of procuring it from Sumatra,) and the bears are per- 
haps African, numbers from that quarter having been often 
mentioned in their games. The fox and the otter were, in all 
probability, natives of the spot. Thus, this collection, like 
numerous others, consists of animals of the three parts of the 
earth then known ; and when we compare all the difficulties 
attending the mysterious and marvellous conjectures regarding 
their origin ; and consider that most questions or facts in 
geology are still subjects of difference in opinion among geo- 
logists themselves, how can such theories for a moment be 
placed in competition with the well-known custom of the Ro- 
mans, to amuse their vanquished people with the ver}' animals 
in question ; the only difference between the fossil and living 
kinds, being in the species ; and that difference being accounted 
for, by the Romans not having procured their wild beasts and 
elephants from those countries that have supplied modern 
naturalists with the specimens from which the inference has 
been drawn, that the fossil kinds are extinct? 

Gibbon, c. xxxviii., says the sword was displayed as a great trophy, 
and afterwards, when Caesar saw it, he laughed, 
t Caesar's Com. by Bladen. 


272 Discovery of Bones in France, 

The volcanic character of Aiivergne and the neighbouring 
regions, as described*, is truly interesting and wonderful, and 
almost unknown to the French themselves, in general, although 
the visible devastations are equal in magnitude to some of the 
recent convulsions of the earth in Iceland ! 

With respect to the epoch when these extinct volcanoes 
were in action, it is, perhaps, impossible to come to any 
certain conclusion. Gaul was, for nearly five centuries, sub- 
ject to the Romans ; but, like Britain, its history during that 
period is unknown, except the descriptions of actual wars or 
revolts. There were twelve hundred walled towns in Gaul 
when the Romans conquered it, but such fortifications were 
thenceforth not permitted f. There are, at least, six cen- 
turies, since the Christian era, of what may be termed a blank 
in the history of France, when no such event as a volcano 
would be registered ; and therefore, as far as history is con- 
cerned, these convulsions may have happened as well after as 
before the Roman conquest. If such bones as those in ques- 
tion be found under volcanic tufa, it is not an indifferent proof 
of those volcanoes not being so ancient as Caesar's invasion, 
especially as some of the streams of lava are quite fresh in 

" In the cavern of Oiselles, near Besan9on, there have 
been found remains of bears (ursus spelaeus) of all ages, 
tigers, hyaenas, and other carnivorous, besides herbivorous, 
animals. The bones are marked by the teeth of hyaenas, hke 
many others discovered in England, &c." — Annates de Chimie 
et de Physique, Oct. 1827. 

'^ Near the church of Notre Dame, in Besangon, is a tri- 
umphal arch, to Aurelian, on which are seen several mutilated 
figures of men and animals. This was one of the most magni- 
ficent places the Romans had in Gaul, and many superb 
remains of their buildings are still visible 5 but after the death 
of Julian, it was almost destroyed by the Germans, and a 
second time by the Huns, commanded by Attila J." When 

* Quarterly Review, Oct. 1 827. *' Serope's Geology of Central France." 
t Mezeray (Introduction). Many of the walls round the towns of Gaul 
were composed of double palisades of trees, filled with earth or stones. - 
% Rees's Cyclopaedia. " Besanjon." 

Discovery of Fossil Bones in France, 275 

Julius Caesar was at Besanyon (Vesontio), he placed a strong 
garrison there ; but his troops were so intimidated at the 
descriptions they heard, from the merchants, of the neigh- 
bouring Germans, that the whole army made their wills. The 
panic was so great, that Caesar threatened to make the tenth 
legion his life-guard, and with them alone to go in search of 
the enemy*. 

More than three hundred years afterwards, Aurelian, on his 
recovering Egypt from Firmus (who had seized the remains 
of his friend, the unfortunate Zenobia's kingdom), wrote to 
his people: ** The tribute of Egypt, which that wicked robber 
had suspended, will now come entire to you. Entertain 
yourselves with the pastimes and shows of the Circus, while 
we are taken up with the necessities of the state." This 
Firmus kept up the commerce with India, and was enor- 
mously rich (the Romans traded thither with one hundred and 
twenty ships annually) ; and hence we may easily account for 
tigers* and hycenas' bones being found at Besan^on, as the 
triumphal arch is dedicated to Aurelian. 

If the mummy of Firmus himself had been found, he might 
have afforded a puzzle whether he was of an extinct tribe. 
Vopiscus describes him '^ of large stature, with prominent 
eyes, frizzled hair, blackish visage, body fair enough, but very- 
hairy, scars and wounds on his face, and stronger than the 
gladiator Tritannus ; for he would bear a smith's anvil upon 
his breast, as he lay bent back upon his hands and feet, and 
permit any one to strike upon it with force. He ate so much, 
that some say he would devour an ostrich in a day — (a young 
one, no doubt !) — he drank little wine, but much watery." 
Firmus had two elephants' tusks, ten feet long. These tusks, 
having been designed by Aurelian to make a chair for a 
golden statue of Jupiter, covered with jewels and a robe of 
state, the indignant Vopiscus adds, " But the lewd Carinus J 
presented these Indian § rarities, with two others, to a certain 

* Bladen's Caesar's Commentaries, b. i., ch. xv. 

•I- Flavius Vopiscus, Augustan Hist. — " Firmus." 

:|: Britain formed a part of the government under Carinus, during the 
absence of his father, Carus, in Persia. — Vopiscus. 

§ These immense tusks were, probably, from Pegu, that country pro- 
ducing the largest elephants known. An officer lately travelled into the 

274 Dr. Mac Culloch on the Junction 

lady, for feet, or posts, of her bed. I say no more, because 
we of this age know her, and for posterity it signifies nothing." 
Thus fossil bones of beasts, such as were exhibited by the 
Romans, according to their history, are one of the sure guides 
to trace the residences and wars of those powerful conquerors. 

On the Junction of Granite and Sandstone in Sutherland, 
and on the Lignite Formation of that District. By J. Mac 
Culloch, M.D., F.R.S., &c. 

The appearance on which the title of this paper is founded, 
has so rarely been observed, that every instance of it would, 
under the present circumstances, be deserving of record, were 
it even not attended by the peculiarities here occurring, which 
render this example interesting in no common degree. Only 
one other instance of it has occurred in my experience, and 
that is in Aberdeenshire ; but, in that case, the smallness of 
the space exposed where the junction takes place, is such, 
that nothing of importance can be discovered : — it stands as a 
bare example of a rare fact in geology. In the case about to 
be described, there is the most perfect exposure of the whole 
junction throughout a space of many hundred yards ; while all 
the rocks are as clean as if recently cut by a tool, and abso- 
lutely free of any incumbrance capable of introducing obscurity 
or doubt into the observations. This junction is, at the same 
time, perfectly accessible, throughout a considerable space, 
even to the hammer of the geologist ; so that nothing but 
incapacity or prejudice, on the part of an observer, can lead 
either to a misapprehension or misstatement of the circum- 
stances attending it. 

Having, on many occasions, attempted to demonstrate the 
igneous origin of granite, I shall, probably, in describing these 

mountains of Aracan, from that city eastward ; and upon the sand of a 
river bank he saw six wild elephants, but could not get very near them. 
On examining the impression of their feet upon the hard sand, he found 
one of them to measure upwards of twenty inches at the smallest diameter. 
The writer of this note conjectures the Mastodon to be a native of Ava 
(their fossil bones having been found there lately), and that they are 
mountain elephants. This curious subject, so highly interesting in 
natural history, is well worth inquiry in Aracan and Ava. 

of Granite and Sandstone in Sutherland. 275 

facts, be exempted from the suspicion of attempting to support 
that doctrine by a prejudiced selection of facts ; since some of 
the phenomena accompanying the appearances to be detailed, 
might, with very little effort, be so represented as to support 
the opposed opinions, and may indeed, for aught that I know, 
be used for this purpose by an observer, who, having adopted 
those, may (and really without any absolute mala fides) view 
them in a different light from myself. To those, in reality, 
who still believe that all rocks have been formed successively 
from solutions of the earths in water, this appearance may 
probably afford matter for triumph, more particularly from the 
apparent gradations which it presents between granite and 
sandstone. It has been, censoriously, said to be the policy 
of a strenuous partisan to suppress, if he cannot mutilate and 
misrepresent, facts so hostile as these may at first sight 
appear ; but he deserves only compassion who does not feel 
that there can be no pleasure equal to that derived from 
establishing a truth in science, though he should, for that, 
renounce all the opinions for which he has contended or 

I shall not pretend to follow up the facts which I shall now 
proceed to describe, with any very detailed reasonings, since 
they do not seem, in the present state of our information, to 
admit of much that would prove of a satisfactory nature ; but 
I may, nevertheless, repeat what I have so often urged, that, 
on the question which respects the igneous origin of granite, 
there is a vast body of evidence derived from facts of the 
same nature as those which have established the igneous origin 
of trap. The present is, in some of its circumstances, a soli- 
tary difficulty — possibly, what is popularly called an exception : 
and, on the nature of such exceptions, or rather of appearances 
not concordant, in all particulars, with the predominant ex- 
amples, we have no right to pronounce any judgment, unless 
perfectly informed respecting all the circumstances which 
might have modified or affected the usual results. 

It cannot fail to be known to those in the least acquainted 
with Scottish geology, that there is an extensive tract of 
granite in Sutherland, one part of which interferes with the 
Jjoundary of the neighbouring county of Caithness. It is 

278 Dr. Mac Culloch on the Junction 

equally well known, that a large portion of this latter county 
consists of a sandstone, of such characters, and occupying 
such a situation with respect to the primary rocks, that it 
must be considered as an example of what is called the old 
red sandstone. An account of this tract, which is in many 
respects interestine:, may possibly form the object of some 
future communication ; but it is unnecessary here to enter 
into any details respecting either of these rocks, further than 
is required for elucidating the objects of this memoir. It is 
sufficient to say, in general, that as the sandstone is unques- 
tionably the lowest member of the secondary strata, so the 
granite resembles, in its geological position, all other granites 
in Scotland, being in many, if not in every part of its extent, 
inferior to all the primary strata, and, in most places, covered 
by extensive tracts of gneiss. 

With respect to the mineralogical characters of both these 
rocks, I must also add, that the granite undergoes numerous 
variations of composition ; exhibiting, in some places, that 
modification which is by some esteemed particularly genuine, 
while, in others, it is found under a great number of different 
aspects. The sandstone formation is somewhat complicated, 
yet less so than that of the great central district of Scotland. 
It is sometimes grey and arenaceous, of else compact and of 
the same colour. In other places it is red, of various tints ; 
while it is, in some situations, simple, in others argillaceous, 
and, in a few, calcareous. Almost every where it is remarkable 
for containing interposed beds of various argillaceous schists, 
sometimes so abundant as to exceed in quantity the arena- 
ceous strata, and even to occupy alone entire tracts of the 
surface. These schists present great diversity of character. 
They sometimes resemble common clayslate ; more frequently 
they are like the coarser varieties, or the greywackes, which 
accompany the fine clayslate. It very seldom happens that 
they put on the appearance of the shales found in the white, 
or upper sandstones, or those which occur in the red sand- 
stone of Arran. 

I have observed, above, that the junction of the sandstone 
strata with the subjacent mass of granite, is visible for a consi- 
derable space ; and, where it occurs, the sandstone beds 

of Granite and Sandstone in Sutherland, 277 

incline to the eastward of North at about an angle of 40 
degrees — perhaps less. It is important to remark, that the 
strata are even, or lie in straight planes, without any sensible 
incurvation ; the upper surface of the granite, on which they 
repose, corresponding, of course, to them in its outline. In 
many places that surface is perfectly even, or the lines of 
junction are so straight at the section, that a ruler may be 
laid on it. In a very few, only, there is some slight irre- 
gularity in the surface of the granite, and there the super- 
incumbent strata are affected in a corresponding manner, 
being bent in such a way as to enter its cavities. No 
fissures, or other marks of disturbance, are visible in the sand- 
stone, nor is it penetrated by any granite veins. Every thing, 
in short, seems to prove that the sandstone has been depo- 
sited on the granite. 

So far, there is nothing to cause surprise, although this 
junction presents an example of a rare and not uninteresting 
fact, namely, the total absence of the primary strata in this 
place, and the deposition of the secondary on a surface of 
granite, where either no primary strata ever existed, or where 
they have been removed prior to its deposition. 

It may, perhaps, also be inferred, by some geologists, that 
there is thus proved a possibility, or a fact, which has been 
questioned by the majority of observers in this science ; 
namely, that stratified rocks may be deposited from water, 
even at high angles, and that all stratification is not neces- 
sarily performed on planes nearly horizontal. But this con- 
clusion does not by any means follow from the present 
appearances, nor is it rendered more probable in this case, 
where granite is the immediate substratum, than in those 
where stratified rocks lie below. In many examples in nature, 
bodies of strata, continuous and level for long spaces, are 
found elevated at much higher angles, in positions, and under 
circumstances, where they could not possibly have been depo- 
sited from water. But these facts must be well known to all 

If the geological circumstances apparent at the junction of 
these two rocks are thus free from any peculiarities leading to 
useful or interesting conclusions, it is not so with the minera- 

278^* Dr. Mac Culloch on the Junction 

logical appearances. It is in the peculiarities of structure — ■ 
in the approximate parts of the two, indeed, that the chief 
interest of this place consists. It is impossible to render these 
thoroughly intelligible without the series of specimens collected 
from them. An attempt, indeed, has been made to render 
the facts more clear by means of some slight sketches ; but 
specimens cannot be drawn, nor mineralogical varieties of 
character represented, in this manner ; nor, indeed, can any 
thing but a sight of the parts, in their native place, convey 
either an idea of their true nature, or the impression of that 
interest which they are calculated to excite. 

The body of granite exhibits every where throughout its chief 
face, which extends upwards in some places for 100 feet and 
more, a solid mass, marked only by the indications of a vertical 
fracture, or, in some places, by an appearance of a vertical la- 
minar structure on a large scale, such as is familiar to those who 
have seen the granite faces in Glen Sannox, and in many other 
parts of Arran ; those in Mull ; or those about the sources of the 
Dee, and the other precipices of the Braes of Mar. In some 
spots, it has even an irregular prismatic appearance ; and all of 
these are circumstances which it is necessary to point out to 
those who may visit this spot ; because, where it is most easily 
accessible, it presents appearances of a very different nature, 
immediately to be mentioned, and the observer might there- 
fore overlook, or neglect those parts of more difficult access, 
where it appears under the unquestionable characters just 

Where the mass of this granite approximates to the sand- 
stone, this laminar or vertical structure first disappears, and it 
then displays solid masses rounded by the action of the weather, 
and not satisfactorily distinguishable by the eye from the neigh- 
bouring sandstones, which have been subjected to the same 
influences. At length, as it comes close to the sandstone, it 
begins to resemble a stratified rock; and, at the first view, 
appears so like the sandstone near it, that the observer begins 
to question the existence of any granite, and to conclude that 
the whole is a mass of sandstone, of which the lower bed is 
occasionally thick, and, like the conglomerates which often 
attend this sandstone, less distinctly stratified. In one place. 

of Granite and Sandstone in Sutherland. 279 

but for a space not exceeding a few feet, the appearance of 
stratification is perfect. Here the surface of the granite 
touches the sandstone by a level plane; and, immediately 
following that junction, are three or four laminae of an argilla- 
ceous nature, or of a shale imbedded in the granite, so as to 
divide it into three or four corresponding laminae. I must add, 
that the whole thickness of this species of stratification, or 
laminar structure, does not much exceed a foot. 

As this remarkable point is the most obvious and easy of 
access of the whole, the first impression it conveys serves to 
confirm that suggested by the more distant view just men- 
tioned, namely, that the granite is regularly stratified and 
graduates into the sandstone. 

The appearances are indeed such as, on a first view, not to 
seem to admit of any doubt ; and, unquestionably, an observer 
who had predetermined that this was the ordinary relation of 
granite and sandstone, would quit the spot with a thorough 
conviction in his mind ; and imagining a complete demonstra- 
tion of it to be here found, would enter it accordingly in his 
note-book. Yet a more accurate investigation will show that 
the appearance is very partial, and that no real indications of 
stratification in the granite, beyond that mentioned, exist. I 
must remark, however, that the particular spot now cited is 
not the only example of this laminar appearance on the sur- 
face of this granite; since, in one or two other places, where 
that surface is bare, there adhere to it portions of laminae, or 
small strata, resembling these already mentioned. 

The mineralogical nature of these rocks is even more re- 
markable than the geological circumstances that have been 

The granite has, in many parts, the most ordinary aspect 
and characters ; but where it approximates to the sandstone, 
it consists of quartz and felspar. In some places only, these 
minerals are equally intermixed in large grains ; in others, large 
grains of each are united in a sort of general basis, or paste, of 
finer sand. In one variety, of remarkable appearance, the 
large grains of felspar are of a high red colour, when that 
mixed with the quartz in the paste is white. The effect of 
this peculiarity of structure can scarcely be appreciated in de- 

280 Dr. Mac CuUoch on the Junction 

scription ; but the rock approaches so nearly in general aspect 
to the finer conglomerate, or gravel-stone, of the strata which 
consists of the same materials, that, in the detached specimens, 
it is at first sight difficult to know which is the substance under 

Another remarkable variety contains schistose clay, which is 
either in small particles, or in larger, resembling fragments, or 
else merely communicates a grey tinge to the stone. These 
specimens similarly approximate in character to that variety of 
the sandstone which contains small fragments of shale. 

The hesitation and uncertainty produced in examining these 
specimens, particularly when found detached and taken up 
from among the surrounding fragments, is even greater than 
that arising from the contemplation of the geological appear- 
ances before described. If the mind is turned towards the 
consideration of the granite at that particular moment, they 
are placed with the granite series ; if, on the contrary, the 
sandstone has been the object last contemplated, we feel in- 
clined to arrange them in that division. And yet, on a very 
minute and careful examination, I doubt not that every one 
who is habitually and extensively conversant with rocks under 
all their uncommon modifications, will assign to each specimen 
its true place; from internal, and if slight, yet essential, cha- 
racteristics, which the experienced eye can discriminate, but 
which the pen cannot describe. 

With respect to the mineralogical characters of the sand- 
stone, I shall limit myself to those varieties which are found at 
the immediate junction. These are the only ones that are 
interesting in the present case, and the description of others 
would unnecessarily extend this paper. 

The first stratum at the only part of the junction which is 
perfectly accessible, is a very compact, reddish sandstone, re- 
sembling quartz rock, consisting chiefly of quartz sand, with a 
few small fragments of felspar. This graduates into a sand- 
stone of the same colour, without fragments. Then follows a 
purple schist, which is in some places arenaceous, in others 
fine and fissile, succeeded by a blue shale resembling grey- 
wacke. After this there occur, in irregular order, a series of 
sandstones, red, purple, blue, and brown, internjixed with the 

of Granite and Sandstone in Sutherland, 281, 

same blue and purple greywacke shales. In some places, the 
schists predominate; in others, the sandstones. 

This, however, is not the order of succession every where. 
In many parts of the junction there are found conglomerates 
of various kinds, but generally of a moderate-sized structure, or 
consisting of small fragments. The first of these to be men- 
tioned, consists of quartz and felspar, compacted to a state as 
hard as the granite which I have already described as of the 
same composition. A coarser conglomerate consists of small 
fragments of granite, or of quartz and felspar, cemented by argil- 
laceous schist. Other varieties contain fragments of argillace- 
ous schist, or various fragments united by sand ; and some are 
purely formed of fragments of schist with an argillaceous 
cement. I must however observe, that the proportion of these 
conglomerates to the finer sandstones at this place, is very 

Such is the mineralogical description of the several rocks at 
this place, as far as it seems necessary to notice them for the 
objects in view. But I must not conclude it without remark- 
ing, that there are many more varieties of conglomerate pre- 
sent in some part or other of this junction ; which, by reason 
of the altitude and precipitous nature of the cliffs, are inacces- 
sible in their native places. This is a necessary conclusion 
from the quantity and variety of the fragments found on the 
beach, which present all those resemblances to some of the 
specimens of the granite already noticed. 

From these facts, two questions in the first instance arise, 
namely, whether they are sufficient to prove that the granite is 
stratified, and whether the apparent gradation between it and 
the conglomerate, which it so much resembles, is real. Cir- 
cumstances so important in geological science must not be 
passed over slightly or decided on hastily ; since resemblance, 
in many other cases than this, does not constitute identity. 

That the great mass of the granite is not stratified, appears 
from its solid continuity downwards, and from the peculiar 
fracture and structure which I have already described. The 
appearances at the junction are too limited to justify any con- 
clusion, even with respect to the immediate surface ; and they 
are at best but equivocal. An analogy may set this difficulty 

282r Dr. Mac Culloch on the Junction 

in a clearer point of view. Where the red sandstones of the 
west coast of Sutherland follow immediately on gneiss, the first 
layer, as I have shown in my work on the Western Islands, is 
an obscure conglomerate, consisting of gneiss, broken, and re- 
united to the body of the rock. Such is the union, and such 
generally the obscurity of the fragments, that it is often not 
possible to determine where the gneiss terminates and the 
conglomerate commences. A similar appearance and grada- 
tion, where micaceous schist is followed by the sandstone, 
occurs in Argyllshire. 

It is easy to understand that, under similar circumstances, 
the fragments of a subjacent granite might form a compacted 
conglomerate, not distinguishable from the original rock ; and 
it is equally easy to see, that the alternation of layers of this 
substance, with layers of argillaceous schist, derived from 
some neighbouring source, would account for the extraordinary 
appearances at this junction. 

The compactness of the whole, and its apparent identity with 
the granite, are no further matters of surprise, than what takes 
place in the cases above quoted, with respect to gneiss, or 
micaceous schist ; since the lowest, their stratum of conglo- 
merate, in these cases, appears to belong to the gneiss, or mica- 
ceous schist, not to the superincumbent sandstone. 

With respect to the apparent transition between the granite 
and the conglomerate which so much resembles it, I must 
now also remark, that it is one of those resemblances which 
so often deceive us with the appearance of identity. In the 
work above quoted, I have mentioned instances in the red 
sandstone of West Sutherland, and Ross-shire, where the finer 
conglomerates, from the nature of their composition, and their 
crystalline compactness, were scarcely distinguishable from 
granite, on a superficial view. The same happens in the case 
of quartz rock, so often, as to have deceived the observers of 
this rock, and to have caused them to consider it akin to 

Yet, in these instances,, the nature of the rock, if it could 
not be determined by mere inspection of the specimens, is 
known by its connection and position ; no granite being pre-^ 
Bent, and it being connected by a regular gradation, with un- 

of Granite and Sandstone in Sutherland. 283 

questionable specimens of sandstone. In fact, where such 
conglomerates consist of the same materials that constitute 
the neighbouring granite, as they do in this particular case, 
and where they are, at the same time, compacted by the crys- 
tallization of intermediate quartz, while the fragments are 
small and angular, it is scarcely possible, without great ex- 
perience, to distinguish them from granite of the same compo- 
sition. If, as in this case, from being detached, and lying 
promiscuously on a beach, in company with fragments of 
granite, no traces of their geological connection remain, 
while the very circumstance leads to confusion, it is not sur- 
prising that they should not easily be distinguished. 

We are not, therefore, entitled to conclude that there is a 
real gradation of mineralogical character, between this granite 
and the superincumbent sandstone connected with, and de- 
pendent on their geological proximity, and capable of proving 
a sequence or continuity of geological formation. The same 
resemblances take place where no granite is present, and 
where, from the quantity and nature of the intermediate rocks, 
it is certain that a great interval of time has elapsed between 
the formation of the granite and that of the sandstone. 

If these explanations, then, of the probable nature, both of 
the geological relations, and the mineralogical resemblance of 
these two rocks, be judged satisfactory, the difficulties arising 
from the first contemplation of these appearances, vanish, and 
the whole is reduced to the ordinary laws, by which the rela- 
tive positions and nature, both of granite and sandstone, have 
hitherto been supposed, by all rational observers, to be regu- 
lated. The coincidence alone is the cause of the apparent 
difficulties ; and that coincidence, as far as their appearances 
are concerned, is accidental. One useful general lesson is, 
at any rate, to be deduced from it ; namely, that we should 
never suffer ourselves to be seduced by the first obvious ap- 
pearances, which, in this science, as in others, are always 
ready to mislead us, particularly when they coincide with our 
vrishes or our prejudices. The philosopher, " naturae mini- 
ster," has one especial duty to perform, that of recording 
faithfully the facts which fall under his observation; and it is 
sdso his business to spare no trouble or thought, in investi- 

284 Dr. Mac CiiUoch on the Junction 

gating, with an unbiassed mind^ all the most minute circum- 
stances, whether direct or analogical, which may tend either 
to reduce them under the laws already admitted, or to the 
establishment of a new ride. 

It only remains, in concluding this subject, to inquire how 
far the facts above detailed are irreconcileable to the theory 
which supposes granite to be of igneous origin. 

As far as the apparent geological and mineralogical transi- 
tions between the two rocks are concerned, if the explanation 
above given is satisfactory, they in no way interfere with it. 
According to that view, the same, or analogous phenomena, 
might result, had the sandstone been deposited on gneiss ; 
the formation of the granite and that of the sandstone are as 
independent in point of cause and time, as if they had been 
separated by intermediate rocks of any extent. The only dif- 
ficulty, then, that remains, as far as the igneous origin of the 
granite is concerned, relates to the very oblique or inclined 
position of the sandstone above it. Now, in the views of those 
who maintain that granite is not of igneous origin, and who, 
in general, equally maintain that the superincumbent strata 
have not been elevated, since they cannot have been elevated 
by that rock, this question needs no examination. The sand- 
stone is in its natural position. Whether the granite, in this case, 
has been elevated so as to elevate the sandstone with it, or 
whether that has been deposited in its present position, it offers 
no further difficulty, than that which is of daily occurrence, in 
examining the primary strata. Quartz rock, stratified with 
similar regularity, is often equally, or still more highly 
elevated ; and the same regularity is often found in other cases 
of highly inclined strata, whether granite is present or not ; 
leaving no doubt, that if it is impossible that strata should be 
deposited from water in positions highly inclined, they may at 
least be elevated to high angles, by posterior causes, without 
losing their evenness or continuity. 

It is to be concluded, that the granite is in this place prior 
to the sandstone, because no veins are found passing from it 
unto the latter, and because, as yet, no instance of granite, 
subjacent to secondary strata, has been found to send veins 
into them. 

of Granite and Sandstone in Sutherland, 285 

But geologists, even where they admit the production of 
granite from fusion, have very thoughtlessly assumed, that it 
must always have been elevated in the fluid state, and in this 
state brought into contact with the several rocks which it may 
touch. Not only there is no necessity for this supposition, 
but the fact must often have been otherwise. Every thing in 
the history of granite proves successive productions of this 
substance, as I have demonstrated on sundry occasions ; and 
that solid stratified rocks have been elevated by granite, is one 
of the very bases of geology. There is, consequently, no rea- 
son why a previous and consolidated mass of granite also 
should not have been elevated by a posterior eruption of the 
same rock ; so far, indeed, is the case otherwise, that a large 
portion of the history of the changes of the globe is implied in 
this very fact. In such a case, the strata lying on the granite 
might be disturbed in any manner ; elevated to the highest 
possible angles, and also broken or bent. But they would not 
contain veins of the granite in immediate contact with them ; 
because they were deposited on its solid surface, and elevated 
afterwards only in consequence of its elevation. And in 
reality, while Scotland presents numerous instances of this very 
fact, the case before us is but one of them. The sandstone, 
and the lignite formation after it, have been deposited on the 
consolidated granite of this district ; while a subsequent eleva- 
tion, of which I have not yet discovered the cause, or The 
Granite, has brought the whole secondary strata into the posi- 
tion which they now display. 

I may now proceed to describe the lignite formation, or what 
is called the coalfield of Sutherland. That I formerly noticed 
its general nature in the paper on Lignites, does not preclude a 
proper description of that which the scattered peculiarity of its 
positions in Scotland renders additionally interesting. 

Sutherland^ August^ 1819. 

OCT.— DEC. 1828. 


Observations on the Existence of Chlorine in the Native Per^ 
oxide of Manganese, S^c, By Robert John Kane, Esq. 

Having, in some late numbers of your valuable Journal, 
observed some papers on the existence of chlorine in the 
native oxide of manganese, by Mr. John Mac Mullen, I was 
struck by the extraordinary inferences which that gentleman 
deduced from, in my opinion, very inefficient data. However, 
owing to numerous other avocations, I was unable at that time 
to give the subject the attention it deserved. 

T have been now induced to present the following observa- 
tions on that subject, in consequence of some experiments, the 
results of which tend, at least, to shed some light on the causes 
of the phenomena observed by Mr Mac Mullen. 

Having had occasion since the publication of his paper 
to execute an analysis of the impure nitrate of potassa, used 
in the manufacture of sulphuric acid, and finding muriate of 
soda present to a considerable amount, I was led to suspect 
the existence of hydro-chloric acid in oil of vitriol, from the 
probability that as, in the theory of the production of the latter 
substance, a portion of the sulphur being acidified, decomposed 
a quantity of nitrate of potassa, and as the nitre contained 
muriate of soda, we may infer a priori that a quantity of 
muriatic acid would be eliminated at the same time, and 
would be absorbed by the water. 

To verify these ideas, I made some attempts to ascertain 
the presence of hydrochloric acid in the sulphuric acid of 
commerce, and after some trials, I found the following process 
to answer perfectly. 

A portion of the sulphuric acid of commerce perfectly clear, 
being dikited with twice its weight of water*, was filtered 
through powdered quartz to separate the sulphate of lead 
precipitated. It was then neutralized by pure bi-carbonate of 
potassa (prepared by decomposing cream of tartar, and passing 
carbonic acid through the solution of the carbonate thus 
obtained) — a large quantity of sulphate of potassa was deposited 

* We deem it almost unnecessary to mention that the water used in 
this and in other experiments was distilled, 

Chlorine in Peroxide of Manganese, 287 

in minute crystals. The supernatant fluid was poured off, 
and the crystals washed with a little cold water, which was 
added to the rest of the fluid. The whole being now diluted, 
was mixed with a solution of nitrate of silver, and the precipi- 
tate being allowed to subside, was boiled in a large quantity of 
■water to dissolve the sulphate of silver. (The quantity of 
which produced varied according to the state of concentration 
of the liquid.) Chloride of that metal remained, which in diS- 
ferent specimens indicated a quantity of dry muriatic acid, 
varying from 0.03 to 0.14 per cent, of the strong sulphuric 
acid used. 

I have in this manner examined the sulphuric acid from 
Mr. Mac Mullen's, Mr. Jones's, and my father's factories. The 
specimen which contained 0.03 per cent, was from Mr. Jones, 
and that which contained 0.14 was from Mr. Mac Mullen's 

Having thus obtained a key to the numerous otherwise in* 
explicable deductions of that gentleman, it is totally unneces- 
sary for me to give a detailed explanation of the phenomena 
which he relates. I shall, therefore, merely take up a few of 
his most important assertions, with a view of showing their 
total inaccuracy and insufficiency. 

Mr. Mac Mullen sets out by observing, that in his very ex- 
tensive factory he has had many opportunities of observing 
the peculiar smell which manganese emits when acted on by 
sulphuric acid, and that the odour depends on the disengaging 
of chlorine. 

He then states that he thought it could not be present in the 
manganese, as a muriate of iron, copper, or lead, metals which 
that mineral sometimes contains ; because, that before he 
added the sulphuric acid, he had washed the ore, and the 
washings had not precipitated nitrate of silver ; and that the 
water would have removed those muriates if they had been 

As Mr. Mac Mullen complains that Mr. Phillips misinter- 
preted him, I shall take his own words. Mr. Mac Mullen 
])roceeds — *' Having in this manner thoroughly satisfied my- 
self of the existence of chlorine in the black oxide of manga- 
nese, I was naturally led to inquire in what chemical state 

X 2 

288 Mr. Kane on the Existence of 

it might be concluded to exist in the combination. That it 
should be either the muriate of the oxide or chloride of the 
metal^ seems highly improbable, from the single circumstance 
that oxygen gas is abundantly obtained by heat. A further 
consideration of this last-mentioned circumstance ultimately 
suggested to me that view of the subject which, after the most 
minute and anxious investigation, I have been led to adopt, 
namely, that chlorine exists in the native oxide of manganese, 
as chloric acid, and that the mineral is in part a chlorate of 

Mr. Mac Mullen infers that if the muriate of iron, of copper, 
or of lead had been present, they would have been removed by 
washing ; that if muriate or chloride of manganese (between 
which substances Mr. Mac Mullen seems to make some dis- 
tinction) had existed, the ore would not have given out oxygen*. 
Now I ask Mr. Mac Mullen, whether a degree of washing 
sufficient to remove muriate of lead, would leave any muriate 
of manganese behind ? It is quite unnecessary to answer this 
question. Even if Mr. Mac Mullen had not made the experi- 
ment, any table of salts would have informed him of their 
relative solubility. I next would inquire how the presence of 
a very small quantity of chloride of manganese could prevent 
the production of oxygen from the peroxide ? When chlorate 
of potash is decomposed by heat, does the chloride of potas- 
sium which is formed from the instant the first bubble of oxygen 
comes over, prevent the further decomposition of the chlorate.^ 

Laying aside the total inaccuracy of Mr. Mac Mullen's state- 
ments, and supposing with him that the mineral cannot contain 
the chlorides of iron, lead, copper, or of manganese, he next 
says, that since these do not exist in it, the ore must contain 
chloric acid, because it gives out chlorine on the addition of 
sulphuric acid. Now does Mr. Mac Mullen say that a chlorate 
decomposed by sulphuric acid gives out chlorine ? As he quotes 
Dr. Ure occasionally, I shall refer to his work. If Mr. Mac 
Mullen had attended to the article *' Chloric Oxide," he, I am 
certain, would not have advanced such a statement. 

* Even if chlorate of manganese had existed, would not the washing 
remove it? The chlorate of potash will not precipitate any metallic 

Chlorine in Peroxide of Manganese. 289 

Mr. Mac Mullen next travels to the subject of chameleon 
mineral, and entirely overturning by theory the facts of Che- 
villot and Edwards, he says, that in their well-known experi- 
ments the azote was absorbed, and prevented the formation of 
chameleon mineral, not by excluding oxygen, but by forming 
nitrate of manganese. From this explanation, Mr. Mac Mullen 
infers that chameleon mineral is a chlorate of manganese and 
potash, and supports his opinion by the inflammation of man- 
ganesiate of potassa with combustibles. 

Wishing rather to increase the validity of the opinion of the 
French chemists than to overturn that of Mr. Mac Mullen, I 
made some experiments, which I will state in full. 

Exp. 1. Into a strong tube-retort, a small quantity of oxide 
of manganese and pure potash was introduced, and rammed 
tight by a copper wire. The open extremity was now drawn 
out, like the neck of the receiver figured in Faraday's Manipu-' 
lation^ p. 399. The retort was then filled at the mercurial 
trough with nitrogen previously passed over dry chloride of 
calcium, the capillary end was then strongly sealed. The body of 
the retort being now coated with lute, was brought to redness, 
and the heat increased until it began to soften ; it was then 
removed, and the sealed end broken under mercury ; instead of 
any absorption, a quantity of gaseous matter rushed out, which 
I could not obtain for examination. In repeating this experi- 
ment several times the tubes generally burst, unless they were 
very thick, well sealed, and removed the instant they began to 

Exp, 2. The retort was charged, and the open end drawn 
into a fine tube, which passed under a jar in the mercurial 
trough ; a considerable quantity of gaseous matter was ob- 
tained, and found to consist, the first portion of oxygen and the 
nitrogen of the apparatus, the latter of pure oxygen. 

Exp. 3. The retort being charged with manganese and po- 
tassa, was filled with oxygen at the mercurial trough, and 
sealed ; the luted portion was brought to bright redness ; when 
coated, the narrow end was broken under mercury, when a con- 
siderable rise into the retort indicated the absorption of oxygen. 
Mr. Mac Mullen states that the experiment, to insure success, 
should be performed in vacuo. 1 had not a good air-pump, or 

29({ Mr. Kane on the Existence of 

I should have done so ; but I would ask that gentleman, how 
he will reconcile the above facts with his theories. 

Mr. Mac Mullen next proceeds to state that the same effects 
take place when red lead or when the peroxide of lead were 
used, as when manganese. We shall not, therefore, notice 
them, more particularly as the explanation of one is satisfactory 
for both. 

Reasoning on the thus proved existence of chlorine in red 
lead ; and reflecting on the nature of the circumambient agents 
in the manufacture of that article, which he estimates as four, 
viz.j oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen, he jumps to the 
settling, as he himself says, *' of a question, on which the 
highest powers of the first philosophers of the age have been 
literally exhausted," — the composition of chlorine. 

Omitting the numerical calculations of the composition of 
chlorine from the atomic weights of its constituents, and which 

p. Nit. p.Carb. 
prim, oxygen. p. azote. p. carbon. p. chlor. Oxide oxide, p. chlor. 

he settles as 2 = 16 + 1= 14 + i := 6 = 36 or 22 + 14 = 36, 
I shall proceed to the experiments by which he, I believe, in- 
tended to support it. 

Into a Papin's digester he put salt, manganese, and sulphuric 
acid diluted with water ; he then placed in the digester a glass 
vessel, containing manganese and hot sulphuric acid. The 
cover being put on, the oxygen and chlorine passed out through 
a tobacco-pipe, at the end of which they were inflamed. A 
bell glass held over the flame was found to contain water, mu- 
riatic acid, chloric acid, and euchlorine, but no carbonic acid. 
Mr. Mac Mullen satisfied himself of the absence of carbonic 
acid, as the vapour did not precipitate lime water ; but he 
forgets to state how he detected chloric acid and euchlorine. 
He allows before that he could not prove chloric acid to exist 
in manganese, yet he avers that he found it as a product of this 
combustion, but without saying how. In what manner he de- 
tected euchlorine in such an apparatus, I am at a loss to 

To investigate the truth of this experiment I made the fol- 
lowing: Having obtained a sufficient quantity of chlorine and 
of oxygen, a bladder was filled with the gases mixed in equal 
volumes ; q, piece of thermometer tube was then fitted to the 

Chlorine in Peroxide of Manganese. 


stopcock of the bladder, and thrust through a perforated cork ; 
this cork fitted accurately the mouth of a glass globe, from 
which a quill passed to the mercurial trough. The cork being 
pushed up, I applied a taper to the stream of gases issuing from 
the tube, but they would not inflame. A jar was then filled 
with the mixture over warm water, and a lighted taper plunged 
into it ; the taper of course, burned brilliantly, but there was 
no explosion. 

A. The bladder and stopcock containing the mixed gases. B. The 
thermometer tube cemented into the stopcock, and passing through the 
cork of the globe. C. A globe, to the mouth of which a cork was fitted. 
The cork being slipped upon the tube, the stream of mixed gases was 
fired, and the tube and cork then introduced to the globe. D. The quill 
going from the globe to the mercurial trough. E. The trough. F. A gas 
jar to receive the elastic fluid evolved. 

I then put a mixture of salt, manganese and sulphuric acid 
into a cast-iron bottle, and collected the gas evolved. When 
the apparatus above-mentioned was used, the gases burned with 
a yellow flame, and water, impregnated with muriatic acid, was 
produced, a great excess of chlorine and of oxygen passing over 
into the jar, the mercury absorbing the former, and calomel 
being produced. 

I next mixed equal volumes of oxygen, hydrogen, and 
chlorine, and using the same apparatus, exactly the same 
results were obtained. I never could detect any chloric acid 
or euchlorine. 

Mr. Mac Mullen says next, that when muriatic acid gas is 
passed over heated oxide of manganese, the same inflammable 
gas is produced. On repeating this experiment with a series 
of tube apparatus, and receiving the elastic fluid produced 
over water heated to 100°, I got nought but chlorine, and 

29? On the Inlahd Navkjation 

when there was not a sufficient quantity of muriatic acid to 
decompose the whole of the manganese, a httle oxygen. 

Mr. Mac Mullen makes some observations on the common 
fulminating powder, to infer, that when it fuses, the carbonic 
acid of the salt of tartar and the nitric acid of the nitre com- 
bine, and form chloric acid, which then detonates with the 

The proof he brings of this, is, that there exists a general 
rule that all detonating compounds contain azote, and as chlorate 
of potash is considered not to contain nitrogen, he does away 
with every objection, by considering chlorine as a compound of 
oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen. 

With regard to this opinion I will not make any remark, as 
I am at present engaged in some rather elaborate researches 
on that substance, the insertion of which here would take up 
too much space. I shall conclude, therefore, by hinting to 
Mr. Mac Mullen, that although '* analogy has its use of con- 
necting facts together, and guiding us to new experiments, yet 
when totally unsupported by exact experiments, it certainly 
should not be carried so far." 

On the Inland JVavigation of the United States. 

[Part III.] 

In the State of New Jersey, the only work of any note is the 
Morris Canal. The object of this navigation is, to form a 
communication between the upper waters of the Delaware and 
the city of New York, The Delaware is navigable, above the 
Falls at Trenton, for vessels carrying from ten to twelve tons. 
These descend, by the force of the current, loaded, and are 
carried back empty, or with small loads, by the aid of poles. 
The Lehigh, a branch that joins the Delaware at Easton, is 
also navigable in the same manner. More recently, improve- 
ments have been made in these navigations, that will be 
mentioned in their proper place. By the improvement of the 
latter river, coal, from the great anthracite formation in Penn- 
sylvania, descends to Easton, and, when the Morris Canal is 
completed, will be enabled to proceed to New York. This is 

. of the United States, 295 

the shortest practicable route between the coal mines and 
that city. 

The value of a direct communication across the State of 
New Jersey, first struck an intelligent and public-spirited 
inhabitant of Morris County, Mr. G. P. Mac Culloch. This 
gentleman devoted much time and labour, and no inconsi- 
derable amount of his private funds, to the examination of the 
route, and the exhibition of the value it would be of to the 
district through which it passed, as well as in a general point 
of view. 

When, however, the ground came to be actually examined, 
difficulties were discovered that must have caused the scheme 
to be abandoned, had the investigation been entrusted wholly 
to engineers acquainted with no other principle in canals than 
the use of the lock. It so happened, however, that Mr. Mac 
Culloch had engaged a friend of his to assist him in the preli- 
minary investigation, who, as he afterwards expressed in his 
Report, was of opinion, that '* it would be unreasonable to 
suppose that, where no physical obstacle exists — where water 
is found in abundance, to be used as a moving power — where 
the wants of the country call for navigable communications, 
and where the prospects of a lucrative traffic hold out the most 
ample encouragement for the investment of capital, the science 
of hydrodynamics does not possess resources fully adequate to 
the removal of every difficulty." 

The difficulties consisted in the great deviation of the sum- 
mit, which is 900 feet above the tide, and 700 feet above the 
Delaware at Easton. But upon this summit is situated a lake, 
having a surface of 1500 acres, and emitting a river that, in 
the driest seasons, is more than sufficient to supply a lock 
navigation. This river is a branch of the Delaware ; but as a 
cut of no great length, and of small depth, would carry it 
towards the Hudson, the engineer did not hesitate to pronounce 
the scheme of the Canal practicable, and undertook to point 
out practicable means for its execution. As locks were inad- 
missible, not only from their cost, but still more so from the 
delay they would have interposed to the passage of boats, he 
turned his views to the principle of the inclined plane. 

In the infancy of artificial navigation, the simple sluice, and 

On the Inland Navigation 

the inclined plane, were both used, according to circumstances. 
In China, they are used even at the present day ; but both are 
rude, and require much labour in their use. The lock (pro- 
bably an accidental discovery) was an improvement on the 
sluice ; and, as the difference of level in the navigations then 
in use, or which were for a long period planned, was small, 
it superseded the inclined plane also. Still partial attempts 
were made, from time to time (and some of them eminently 
successful), to make the inclined plane, as well as the lock, a 
self-acting machine. 

All these plans, whether actually carried into effect or merely 
projected, were in turn examined ; and the result showed that 
no one of them was applicable to the circumstances of the 
Morris Canal. The engineer was therefore driven to his own 
resources, and was successful in proposing a plan for over- 
coming the great altitude of the summit of this canal, which, 
in the opinion of the persons to whom it was submitted, was 
entirely adequate to the purpose. It being considered of the 
greatest importance to convince the public of the certainty of 
the means proposed for the execution of this canal, the Com- 
missioners appointed by the State of New Jersey took every 
means of obtaining the opinions of men of the highest know- 
ledge and experience. Among these were the late De Witt 
Chnton ; Benjamin Wright, the most successful of the engineers 
of the great New York canals ; General Swift, formerly at the 
head of the Engineer Corps of the United States ; General 
Bernard, a French engineer of high reputation and rank in the 
** Corps de Genie," now in the service of the United States ; 
and Colonel Totten, of the United States Engineers. The 
opinions of all were favourable. The two last-named officers, 
being ordered to examine the scheme by the War Department, 
made it the subject of more detailed investigation than the 
others, and reported fully, comparing the inclined plane pro- 
posed by the engineer of the canal, with all other modes of 
passing from one level to another that were known to them. 
Their Report concludes in the following terms : — " To us, 
however, whether we consider the economy, the utility, or the 
durabihty of these inclined planes, all is certain; and we 
look confidently forward to the day when their introduction 

of the United States. 295 

will be regarded as a most important era in the history of 
canal navigation, and especially in this country, to which they 
are so peculiarly adapted." 

About the time of completing this Report, General Bernard 
received from Count R^al a plan of an inclined plane proposed 
for the Canal of Charleroi in France, by De Solages. The 
principle was the same as the one under investigation, and 
both engineers had set off from the same point : both had met 
with the same difficulties ; but the means of removing them 
were so different, and the effect of the American plan so much 
superior, that it was not considered necessary even to modify 
the Report. They were rather inclined to consider it as for- 
tunate that it had not been previously known, as it would have 
probably been adopted, and precluded the search which led 
to a superior form. 

In addition to his Report upon the means of construction, 
Clinton undertook to exhibit the advantages the State of Jersey 
would derive from constructing the Morris Canal on its own 
account. However powerful his reasoning was, it failed ii| 
overcoming the apathy, or in neutralising the opposing in- 
terests in that State. After an interval of two years of 
earnest application to the Legislature, the friends of the 
scheme were compelled to accept a charter for the formation 
of a private company. 

When the books of this company were opened for subscrip- 
tion, the public, fascinated with the boldness, the obvious ad- 
vantages, the certainty of the scheme, sought for the stock 
with more avidity than ever occurred in any former instance 
in the United States. Seven times the required capital were 
subscribed, and the commissioners actually held in their hands 
in cash, nearly all the funds necessary for completing the 
canal. These circumstances led to a desire to obtain an undue 
advantage in the distribution of the stock, and a majority of 
the commissioners was found to sanction such a selection of 
names, as threw the whole controul into the hands of a party, 
who had no other object in view than stock-jobbing. A Board 
of Direction was elected, which could be managed in such a 
way as to carry this object intp effect, and care was taken to 
leave out, or overrule, all persons who had any interest in the 

29G On the Inland Navigation 

execution of the canal, either pecuniary, or as a matter of re- 
putation. Hence, although the original projector of the canal 
was placed in the Board, he was deprived of all influence, and 
the engineer who had explored the" route and planned the means 
of execution was not employed. These violent measures de- 
feated the object they were intended to subserve ; the public 
had not confidence in the parties who had thus grasped the 
whole controul, nor in the means, by which, deviating from 
the original plan^ they proposed to execute it. Failing in their 
hopes to make a bubble^ the speculators had the address to 
withdraw their deposit from the funds of the company, and to 
leave it with a capital reduced one-half, and the character of 
an abortive ^'oj6. This, however, was not effected, but at the 
risk of a criminal prosecution, on Avhich some of the parties 
were convicted, but were saved from the punishment they so 
richly deserved, by legal quibbles. 

Under such circumstances, it was hardly to be hoped that 
the Morris Canal would be soon rendered a second time po- 
pular. It cannot, however, be doubted, that had there been 
an immediate return to the original principles, and plans, it 
must speedily have recovered public confidence. A new sub- 
scription was obtained for a part of the withdrawn capital, in 
the hopes that this course would have been pursued. But 
while the new officers have no doubt acted with honesty, they 
have shown great want of knowledge and intelligence, and 
have continued to entrust the construction of the canal to per- 
sons incapable, themselves, of proposing any means of over- 
coming the difficulties that oppose progress, of appreciating the 
merit of the original plan, or of judging among the innumerable 
fancies that a population teeming in notions exhibit to them. 
Several inclined planes have been actually experimented upon 
at a large expense, but all have proved abortive, and the ridi- 
cule is enhanced, from the fact, that more than one of them 
are upon principles that had been examined and reported 
upon by the original engineer, and the persons called to inspect 
his plans, and declared unfit for the purpose. At the present 
moment, it is difficult to prophesy what will be the result ; 
success is not entirely hopeless, much work having been well 
done, and much capital been left; but still no great ex- 

of the United States. 297 

pectation of a favourable result can be entertained, unless 
more fixed principles and more enlightened views be brought 
into its direction. 

The state of Pennsylvania was settled at a later period than 
the other middle states. The original population brought 
with them the useful arts in a state of greater advancement 
than the settlers of New England, or the Dutch planters of 
New York. The soil, also, >vas more fertile, and the climate 
milder. All these circumstances, together with the religious 
chara9ter of the Quakers, if they impeded the birth of enter- 
prise, and that restless spirit of locomotion, that has extended 
the New England race so widely, yet led to the construction of 
public works of more stability and expense. The buildings, 
the roads, the bridges of Pennsylvania, have a character of so- 
lidity and permanence, rarely to be met in other parts of the 
Union. Penn, the first proprietor of Pennsylvania, was also 
possessed of the most liberal and extended views, while the 
rapid and unlocked for progress of the other colonies, autho- 
rized him to indulge in anticipations that had never entered 
into the minds of those who preceded him in the adminstration 
of the more ancient colonies. The plan of the city of Phila- 
delphia was capable of execution only, in the case of the 
Schuylkill being rendered navigable ; and the delay that has 
attended the execution of this original project of the first pro- 
prietor, has caused the extension of the city to take place in 
directions not anticipated by him. It is only since the com- 
pletion of that navigation, that the foresight of this remarkable 
man has been justified by the formation of a second port on 
the Schuylkill, extending its arms to meet the main city on the 
Delaware. Various projects of inland navigation were formed 
in Pennsylvania, long before the other states turned their at- 
tention to the subject ; but, committed to private companies, 
with deficient capital, none were completed, and many, after 
being nearly finished, w^ere abandoned. The success of the 
New York canal gave a new impulse, and fresh capital was 
found to be embarked in these languishing enterprises. The 
state itself has recently entered, on its own account, into the 
construction of new canals, or become a partner in those au- 
thorized to be constructed by private companies. By recent 

298 On the Inland Navigation 

and very accurate information *, it appears, that within the 
state of Pennsylvania there are about three hundred miles of 
canal actually completed, about one hundred and twenty miles 
of improved river navigation, and eighteen miles of railway ; 
while the legislature has authorized the construction, in all, of one 
thousand two hundred miles of canal, the improvement of two 
hundred and twenty miles of river, and the formation of nearly 
six hundred miles of railway. Of the canals thus authorized^ 
seven hundred and fifty miles more are actually in progress, 
and reasonable expectations may be entertained, that they will 
be finished in less than three years from the publication of this 
paper. The extent, therefore, of the internal navigation of 
Pennsylvania will probably soon exceed that of any state in 
the Union. 

Among the more important of these canals is one from the 
tide waters of the Delaware, along its western shore, as far as 
the boundary of the state of New York. This will be pro- 
ductive of much advantage, for there is a large district of 
country in that direction, which has lain so far from any ac- 
cessible route, as to have remained in a state of wilderness, 
although much of it is capable of being rendered fertile. The 
Lehigh river, which, as we have before stated, joins the De- 
laware at Easton, has for several years engaged the attention 
of a company formed for working the coal mines that lie a few 
miles from its channel. This river carries a large body of water, 
but is so rapid as to be dangerous for a descending, and im- 
practicable for an ascending navigation. The first attempt at 
a navigation was a simple improvement in the channel itself, 
by weirs, sluices and wing-dams ; and the object was limited to 
obtaining a safe descending navigation for arks. Although the 
transport of coal by means of these rude vessels was not found 
too expensive, still it furnished a supply far too limited for the 
demand ; and a canal, for the whole distance, with locks, has 
been undertaken, and will soon be finished. It will commu- 
nicate by the Morris Canal with the city of New York, and by 
the Delaware canal with the tide waters of that river. It has, 
however, been constructed upon a scale much greater than 

• Furnished the writer by Mr. G. W. Smith of Philadelphia, a high 
authority in all questions of internal improvement. 

of the United states. 299 

w^s necessary ; for the canal itself, and its locks, are much 
larger than either of the navigations that give an outlet to its 
trade. t 

In the State of Delaware we have no inland communication^ 
of importance to mention, besides the Cheseapeake and De- 
laware canal, described in treating of the great system parallel 
to the coast. 

In Maryland, the principal contemplated improvement is a 
communication between Yorkville, on the Susquehannah, and 
the city of Baltimore ; this was originally examined with the 
view of effecting it by a canal, but the elevation of the sum- 
mit, and the scarcity of water, have merged this plan in that 
of a railway. 

In Virginia, we have no works of mere local importance to 
speak of, except the improvement of the Apomatox river, for 
a distance of one hundred and ten miles. 

In North Carolina, great attention has been paid to the ex- 
amination of plans for the improvement of its navigation ; but 
the efforts have been principally directed to the opening of a 
ship channel through the bars that inclose the sounds extend- 
ing along its coast. The inlets have become so shallow, that 
North Carolina, possessing a wide extent of coast, has not a 
single sea-port for large vessels. 

In South Carolina, the Santee was joined as long since as 
the year 1802, with Cooper river, one of the streams at whose 
confluence the city of Charleston is situated. This canal, which 
is twenty miles in length, is remarkable among the public works 
of the United States for the solidity and beauty of its works of 
masonry. The Santee river is navigable from the junction of 
this canal as high as Columbia, the seat of the state govern- 
ment, and. hence a mixed navigation has been carried into 
Abbeville county ; the whole distance from Charleston being 
one hundred and fifty miles. 

The State of Georgia has not executed any important canals, 
but has for some years devoted appropriations to the examina- 
tion of the resources and means of the state for constructing 

In Louisiana, the engineers of the general government have 
reported a plan for a canal between the Mississippi at New 

300 Inland Namgation of th. United States, 

Orleans and Lake Ponchartrain. This canal will not only be 
valuable as a navigation, but as affording the means of divert- 
ing the waters of that great river when swollen beyond its 
usual size. 

In the newer states, great opportunities will no doubt be pre- 
sented for extending an inland commerce, by the improvement 
of rivers and the construction of canals. Years, however, must 
elapse before their resources become adequate to such enter- 
prises. Many have already been spoken of; but in this view 
of the subject, however interesting to the neighbouring inha- 
bitants, they can possess no claim to our attention. We have, 
indeed, extended this essay so far beyond the limits within 
which we at first hoped to comprise it, that a fear of becoming 
tedious has prevented us from dwelling upon many points that, 
in the views of those interested, may be considered at least as 
important as those on which we have dilated. Those, how- 
ever, who may wish to obtain more minute information than 
we have given, will find it in a work on " The Internal Navi- 
gation of the United States," published in Philadelphia, by 
Carey and Lea, in 1826. To this we have been indebted for 
many of the facts we have stated, that had not come imme- 
diately under our own view, and have, in consequence, to make 
our acknowledgments to the laborious and intelligent com- 
piler of that work. 

To the Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Science. 

The Illustrations of Nature published in your last number, 
(VI.) extended to the confines of the animal reign. Perhaps 
it might have been expected that illustrations of general 
zoography should next have followed; but to illustrate the 
animal kingdom generally, even in outline, would lead either 
to a very extended or a very superficial essay; and as the 
general view could be but faintly seen, and feebly understood, 
unless particular associations were previously pointed out, I 
have resolved to confine my present observations to a very well 
marked series of animals; viz, apes and their allies; and 

Mr. G. T. Burnett on Apes and their Allies, 301 

malce the selection, not only because they long have been, and 
still may be considered the primates of the brute creation, but 
also as they afford a good praxis on methodical arrangement. 

It may chance, that by some I shall be blamed for intro- 
ducing so many, and by others for not adopting all, the modern 
improvements (innovations?) in nomenclature: but as far as 
they involve no fundamental error, I have preferred old names, 
because they are familiar ; although their definitions occasion- 
ally require to be modified. Hence I have introduced new 
terms reluctantly, and only when the current ones were incon- 
venient and incorrect; nevertheless when so, I have not 
scrupled to propose their abolition, however high the authority 
by which they have been imposed. Utility, rather than no- 
velty on the one hand, or subserviency on the other, having 
been the object aimed at in the present sketch, it will T trust 
plead my apology for such alterations as have been needfully, 
not wilfully, introduced. 

I have the honour to remain, 

Yours obediently, 

Gilbert T. Burnett. 

Sept 1st, 1828. 

Illustrations of the Manupeda, or Apes and their Allies; 
being the arrangement of the Quadrumana or Anthropo- 
morphous Beasts indicated in Outline. 

Animals of the ape or monkey type approach more nearly to 
the human structure, than do any others of the brute creation ; 
hence, perhaps, the name monkey, monkin, manikin, quasi 
dicatf somewhat like or akin to man ; a term as familiar and 
equally expressive with the more classical anthropomorpha. 
Their gestures, also, seem often to have been thought a carica- 
ture or mockery of human ways, hence are they called apes. 

These beasts and their natural allies (the Pitheci and Cer- 
copitheci of the Greeks, the Simiae of the Latins, the Monichi 
of the barbarous ages) form a very natural association. Their 
approach to the human shape, the original bond of union, has 
been much strengthened by the notice of other common cha- 

OCT.— DEC. 1828. Y 

302 Illustrations of the Manupeda, or 

racters, especially their having thumbs, and all their feet 
having somewhat the structure, and performing many of the 
offices of hands, being organs equally of progression and pre- 
hension: thus associated, they constitute the Anthropomor- 
phous quadrupeds of Ray and Pennant; the genera Simia and 
Lemur of Linnaeus ; the Quadrumana of Blumenbach, Cuvier, 
and most modern writers. 

The apes and their more immediate allies, which by Ray 
were associated in a distinct group, by Linnseus, on account of 
their teeth, were blended with man and bats, in his order 
Primates ; which thus forms a very heterogeneous assemblage. 
Modern zoographers have therefore returned them, in spite of 
their teeth, to the plan of Ray; and separating the true 
apes and their natural allies from men and bats, have called 
them Quadrumana, [Quadrumanes, four-handed beasts,] in- 
stead of anthropomorphous digitated quadrupeds. Perhaps, 
strictly speaking, neither quadrupeds nor quadrumanes are 
appropriate terms ; for in some, as the Chamek [Ateles penta- 
dactylus], the thumb scarcely protrudes externally; and in the 
four-fingered Chamek [Ateles paniscus], it is completely hid- 
den beneath the skin. Cuvier observes that in Ouistitis 
[Titi], the thumbs are so little widened from the other digits^ 
*' qu'on ne leur donne qu'en hesitant le nom de quadru- 
manes ;" and Cams well remarks, that ** the so called hands 
of apes should rather be termed feet," for hands are organs of 
touch and of prehension, not of progression; but feet are 
organs of progression rather than of prehension : therefore, as 
the paws of apes, &c., are chiefly organs of progression, but 
which progression takes place by prehension, might not their 
form and use be better designated by the term Manupeda, 
Manupeds, foot-handed or hand-footed beasts ? 

The Quadrumana of modern systems were comprised in the 
two genera Simia and Lemur of Linnaeus, from the former of 
which Cuvier has most judiciously separated a very distinct 
race, under the name Ouistitis [Titi], the Hapales of Illiger, 
and Arctopithecus of Geoftroy. 

As the species of the Linnsean genus Simia, even in his 
time, were veiy numerous and very various, and as since then 

Apes and their Allies, 303 

they liave much increased both in number and variety, many 
schemes of subordinate arrangement have been devised, and 
subgenera, sections, and subsections have been introduced, 
often without regularity and without principle : which joined 
with the numerous synonymes which authors have imposed, 
and different systematists not only giving different names to the 
same individual, but also describing different individuals under 
the same appellation, has introduced much irrelative obscurity; 
and tended not a little to increase that confusion, in which this 
interesting department of the animal reign is still partially 
involved. The tail-less, short-tailed, and long-tailed sections, 
as enumerated by Ray and others, although in part obvious, 
are far too vague distinctions; and the anatomical structure of 
the animals arranged by them, as Apes, Baboons, and Mon- 
keys, by no means justified the distribution. This arrange- 
ment, therefore, requires to be carefully remodelled ; so that, if 
possible, without losing sight of the obvious distinctions of our 
elders, their groups may be corrected, and their plan enlarged 
and strengthened by the researches of modern times. 

On a general view of this (the Manupeda or Quadrumana) 
as of the other types of animals, after having associated into 
one group all accidental or slight variations from some normal 
specimen, thus by the union of varieties which are akin to 
each other, constituting a species, it is found that two or more 
species, although not so near akin to each other as are the 
varieties which constitute each species, still are more inti- 
mately connected than either of them to certain other groups, 
which, although of the same kind, are not (as our provincial 
dialect would express it) of the same kith or kin. These asso- 
ciations are called indifferently, genera or subgenera, or sub- 
sections of subgenera, &c. Again, these yroups of species, 
although distinct from, are more closely allied to, each other, 
than any of them to certain larger groups, whi(^h comprise the 
groups of species, but which are not of the same kind. Some- 
times it happens that only a single species or genus may be 
known of a given kind, but more frequently there are several 
Or many ; and often there are several kinds which form asso- 
ciations among themselves, more intimate than with certain 
Other kinds, being what in familiar language is called a race ; 

Y 2 

304 Itlustratldns of the Manupeda, or 

as, for instance, the anthropomorphous race, which inchides 
the several kinds of the true apes, baboons, monkeys, &c., as 
contrasted with the lemurs. Each of these successive stages 
has been called a genus, and the others, sections and subsec- 
tions, subgenera, &c. 

Thus the genus Simia of Linnaeus comprehended all the 
true Pithecatge [the ape or monkey race], with the Arctopithe- 
catse [the Ouistitis], most judiciously (on account of its having 
claws instead of nails, &c.) separated by Cuvier. The genus 
Simia, even when the Ouistitis is removed, contains not only 
the true Simiadse or Apes, but also the Papionidse or Baboons, 
the true or lax-tailed Monkeys, the Howlers, or Monkeys with 
prehensile tails, &c., all amalgamated together ; and each of 
these kinds, when separated and respectively analysed, con-, 
sists of several subsections: e.g., the Simiadae contains the 
Mimetes or Chimpanzee, the Simia Satyrus or Orang Ootan, 
the Gibbon, &c., and so of the others. Each of these subsec- 
tions, which are the genera of GeofFroy, lUiger, and others, 
•would in fact seem to be the true genera, containing one or 
several species, and the species consisting of varieties as before 

Hence it becomes evident, that if all these successive stages 
of alliance be called indifferently genera, subgenera, &c., need- 
less intricacy must be the result ; therefore, as the group of 
varieties is acknowledged to form a species, would it not be 
better to call the group of genera a kind; the group of 
kinds a race, and so on, — thus j)recluding that indeterminate 
phraseology which is the bane of science ? Yet, to avoid mis- 
conception, I must here advert to what has been already 
hinted, and at another time must be more fully dwelt on, viz., 
that all essential * characters, as they are called, can be but 
relative ; and as new species and genera are discovered, or as 
our knowledge of the old becomes more perfect, these charac- 
ters, which are but conveniences, and invented solely to direct 
the mind at once to the most important peculiarities, often 
require to be modified ; the natural characters, which are too 
tedious for general use, being the only true and permanent dis- 
tinctive signs : examples of these series may be seen in the 

* Indicative is a better term. 

j^pes and their Allies. ^X^ 

"adjoined Table, q. v., one will suffice for illustration. The 
collared and un collared mangabeys are instances of two species, 
each consisting of varieties dependent on trifling and often 
transitory marks. These two species are much more inti- 
mately allied than either of them to the Rolowai or the Mal- 
brouk, these forming the true genus Cercopithecus^ as those 
Cercocebus, would commonly be called subsections of a sub- 
genus, contained in one of the sections of the genus Simia. 
Again, the Mangabeys [or genus Cercocebus] are more closely 
connected to the Malbrouks [or genus Cercopithecus] than 
either of them to the Apes, Baboons, or Howlers; which 
further alliance, by distinguishing the true monkeys from their 
associates, has been called a subgenus ; in fact, it is the dis- 
tinction of a kind, and indicated by the termination, dco or idtp, 
affixed to the names of the most important or most familiar, 
I. <?., the normal genus, — in this case Cercopithecus, — and 
hence the group is called Cercopithecidse, or Cercopithedae, 
i. e.y Monkeys, or the monkey kind. But as apes, baboons, 
monkeys, &c., are more nearly allied than either to the Titidae 
(Ouistidse,) or Lemuridae, (the genera Ouistitis and Lemur, 
of Cuvier and Linnaeus,) they form together the Pithecatae 
[the Ape or Monkey race] : and these three races, i. e., the 
genera Simia and Lemur of Linnaeus, with the Ouistitis of 
Cuvier, are connected as a district or type, by their all possess- 
ing hand-like feet, [their indicative character,] under the name 
Quadrumana, four-handed; or rather Manupeda, hand- footed 
beasts : thus entirely avoiding that intricacy of genera and sub- 
genera, sections and subsections, which inevitably occurred 
when the whole of these animals were considered as belonging 
to only two genera, viz., Simia and Lemur. 

To define the species and genera, or even to enumerate the 
whole, would be without my plan, (which is to give merely an 
outline or prodromus,) and for these I must at present refer to 
the works of Pennant, Shaw, Audebert, GeofTroy, Cuvier, Illi- 
ger, and others ; my object now is to condense into a prac- 
tical form, to draw as it were into a focus, those general views 
which must be sought in several languages, and are spread 
through many volumes: some few, however, of the characters 
of the type, races, and kinds, must not be omitted. 

306 Illustrations of the Manupeda, or 

Type Manupeda, (Quadrumana Anthropomorpha). Four hand-like feet ; 
all the paws fitted equally for prehension and progression ; 
not well suited for walking on the earth, or for maintaining an 
upright posture. Orbits enclosed from the temporal fossae. 
Three sorts of teeth. Pectoral mammae. 

Races, Pithecat^, (Simia, Apes, Baboons, Monkeys, Sagoins, and 
Howlers). Four opposed incisors in each jaw, all the nails flat. 

Arctopithecat^, (Ouistitis). Teeth as in the former; nails 
claw-like, except the hinder thumbs ; thumbs so little sepa- 
rated as scarcely to be quadrumanous. 

Odontipithecat^, (Lemur). Teeth irregular, upper incisors not 
opposed to lower ; two middle upper incisors separated ; nails 
all flat, except hind index, which is claw-like ; thumbs widely 
separated from the other digits ; nostrils sinuated. 

PiTHECATJE, Monichrace, or Monkey-race. 

Kinds, Simiadse, Apes. Facial angle 65°— 50°; teeth 32, grinders 
20 ; OS hyoides, liver, and caecum like man ; no callosi- 
ties ? no pouches ? 

Papionidae, Baboons. F. a. 40°— 30°; hence protruded 
jaws ; 32 teeth, 20 grinders, last molars 5 — 7 tubercles ; 
callosities, pouches; tail generally short, sometimes 

Cercopithedae, Monkeys (common), Guenons. F. a. 50°— 
40° ; teeth as baboons and apes, only 4 tubercles on last 
molars ; pouches, callosities ; tail generally long, always 

Geopithedae, Sagoins. F. a. about 60°; teeth 36, 24 
grinders ; no pouches, no callosities ; tail lax, or nearly 

Stentoridae (Helopithedae), Howlers. F. a. 60° -30°; 
teeth as former ; no pouches, no callosities ; tail pre- 

Arctopithecat^, Titirace. 

Titidae, or Ouistitidae, the only admitted kind, formed of 
two genera, &c. vide Table. Cheirogaleus may not 
impossibly belong to this race; further observations 
must decide. 

Odontipithecat^, Lemurace. 

Indridae ? Indris. Incisors equal in number in each jaw ; 

tarsus proportionable. 
Lemuridae, Makis. Most incisors in lower jaw ; tarsus 

Tarsidae, Spectres. Most incisors in upper jaw ; tibia longer 

than femur ; tarsus triple the length of metatarsus. 

Apes and their Allies, 









Orang Ootan, 




Black Gibbon, 



White G., or Moloch, 





Pithes ? 

Barbary Baboon, 










Common Baboon, 








Lion -tailed. 




Collared Mangabey, 


Cercocebus, -v 









Malbrouk, Vaulting, 


Negro Monkey, 





Couxio, or Sakis, 




Sakis, Handdrinker, 


— i 






^ Sagoins. 



Royal or Red Howler, Seniculus, 

Stentor, > 















Four-fingered ditto. 







Horned ditto. 























Red- pawed, 



Short-tailed Indris, 



L Indrid-«. 



Ring-tailed Lemur, 










Madagascarensis, Galago, 








1 Tarsidje. 




On the Organic Remains of the Diluvium in Norfolk, Com-* 
municated by C. B. Rose, Esq. 

Having, in a former communication, given a description of the 
diluvial covering of the county, with a list of the materials of 
which it is composed, I shall, in this division, present to the 
readers of this Journal an account of the organic remains col- 
lected therefrom. 

As I possess many fossils from this deposit, at present un- 
figured by authors, I purpose, in the list of the testacece, con- 
fining myself almost entirely to those specimens which are 
identified with individuals figured in that splendid work, *' The 
Mineral Conchology of Great Britain," by Messrs. Sowerby, 
and merely notice some species that remain undescribed by that 
indefatigable and meritorious family. 

The organic remains of the diluvium admit of a division into 
those of animals inhumated at the period of the great catas- 
trophe, and since mineralized ; and those of animals enveloped 
at various periods, during the formation of the regular strata, 
and consequently anterior to that grand epoch ; the former 
may be denominated diluvian remains, the latter ante-dilu^ 


These consist of teeth, tusks, horns, vertebrae, and various 
other bones of the mastodon, elephant, hippopotamus, gigantic 
elk, and the enormous horned bison, the horse, the ox, and two 
or more species of deer; they occur in great abundance on the 
eastern coast, exposed by the action of the tidal waters upon 
the diluvium, and by the agency of springs ; immense masses 
of the cliffs are thus detached from the main land, and left to 
crumble away upon the beach. I have not had an opportunity 
of examining a complete series of these interesting relics, 
therefore cannot enter into further details respecting them. 
The teeth and vertebrae of some of these animals are also found 
in the interior of the county; at WhitHngham, near Norwich, 
a tooth of the mastodon, figured in Smith's " Strata Identified;" 
it is deposited in the British Museum ; a tooth of the Asiatic 
elephant, with some vertebrae, were discovered a few years since 
at Narford, near Svvaffham; and several bones, supposed, from 

Organic Remains of the Diluvium in Norfolk. 309 

their coarse texture to belong to a species of whale, have, at 
various times, been met with in a gravel-pit at Roydon, near 



1. The anterior portion of a fish, with part of its head. 
From the elongated rhomboid al form of the scales, I presume 
it to be a specimen of the Dapedium politum, a species of a 
new fossil genus formed by Dr. Leach, for the reception of the 
fossil fish described and figured by Mr. De la Beche, in Geol. 
Trans, vol. i., part first, N. S. page 45, plate 6, fig. 1. 

2. A fragment of the armed fin-bone of a species of balisfes. 
It is a tuberculated variety ; a similar one is noticed by M. 
De la Beche, in Geol. Trans, vol. i., N. S. page 43, as occur- 
ing in the lias at Lyme. 

3. Small vertebrae of a species of squalus. 

4. Part of the spinal column of a fish with the ribs attached. 
It consists of nine vertebrae, enveloped in the grey centre of a 
black flint : it is too imperfect to determine of what fish it is 
the remain. 

5. A small lanceolate tooth of a species oi squalus, imbedded 
in a flint. 

6. Vertebrae of a species of esox ; originally deposited in 
the crag, or upper marine formation. 


1. Caudal vertebra of a crocodile, resembling that of Horn- 

2. Tooth of a species of crocodile, 

3. Tooth of an ichthyosaurus, agreeing with those of/, com- 
munis. It forms one of the pebbles of a coarse sandstone 

4. Tooth of a species of ichthyosaurus ; imbedded in the 
bituminous shale of the kimmeridge or Oxford clay. This 
tooth does not resemble those of either of the three species 
described by the Rev. W. D. Conybeare in the Geol. Trans- 

5. Vertebrae of the ichthyosaurus, belonging to the anterior 

310 On the Organic Remains 

cervical ; anterior, middle, and posterior dorsal ; lumbar ; and 
caudal portions of the spine. 

6. Plesiosaurus. A cervical vertebra, resembling that 
figured in Geol. Trans, vol. v. part 2, plate XLI. fig. 3. 

7. Vertebrae from the middle dorsal, lumbar, and caudal 
portions of the spine of the j^lesiosaurus, 

8. Bones apparently belonging to the paddles of the ple- 


Ammonites peramplus, biplex, decipiens, rofundus, muta- 
hilis, sublxBvis, binus, excavatus, Birchii^ Taylori, dentatus, 
Strangwaysi, annulatus, serratus, rotiformis, and some 
others not yet figured. 

Ampullaria, a cast in calcareous sandstone, associated with 
a Pectunculus, Venus, and Avicula. 

Area, two or three species not yet figured. 

Astarte lineata and planata. 

Avicula costata, inequivalvis , and echinata. 

Belemnite. The remains of this fossil are found in all parts 
of the county : they appear to have been originally derived 
from the cornbrash, marly sandstone, green sandstone, and 
chalk strata. I possess one, showing the septa and siphun- 
culus ; and another, with some of its iridiscent internal pearly 
coat attached to it. 

Cardium. Mineral Conchology, tab. XIV. middle figure. 

Cirrus, of an elliptical form, not produced by fracture. 

Comilaria, a trigonal species, in a boulder of calcareous 
sandstone, associated with trigonia clavellata. 

Cucullaea (area subacuta of Min. Conch., tab. XLIV. upper 

Dentalium incrassatum, in a septarium, with part of an 

Gryphsea incurva, obliquata, dilatata, and bullata. 

Inoceramus, several species in chalk boulders, and casts in 
flint. The latter are very common in the light lands of the 
chalk district ; and they frequently exhibit upon them casts of 
the workings of animalcular parasites in this shell, described 
by Parkinson, and also by the Rev. W. Conybeare, in GeoL 
Trans., vol. ii. 

of the Diluvium in Norfolk, 311 

Lima, an elegant little species, not yet figured. 

Lingula ovalis, with an ammonite and tellina. 

Lutraria amhujua, in a boulder with 

Gervillia aviculoides. 

Modiola Ilillani, cuneata, aspera, and some others, resem- 
bling parallela and elegans. 

Mya literata or J/*scripta, and two or more species unde- 

Nautilus, a cast in flint of an oblique species. 

Nucula triyonia, ovum, and claviformis ; the latter imbedded 
in a septarium, with a rostellaria possessing two processes on 
its outer lip. 

Ostrea deltoidea, carinata, and Marshii. The numerous 
species and A^arieties in this genus defy designation. I have, 
therefore, only noticed those, in my collection, that I can 
satisfactorily identify with Mr. Sowerby's figures. 

Patella latissima. Mr. G. B. Sowerby, in his Work on the 
Genera of Shells, says, '' The patella latissima and IcBvis of 
mineral conchology may possibly be the upper valves of or- 

Pecten corneus, orbicularis, arcuatus, lens, fibrosus, nitidus, 
lamellosus, cinctus, barhatus, vimineus, and vagans. 

Perna maxillata, Sowerby's Genera of Shells, Perna, 
plate II., fig. 1. In a boulder, associated with pecten lens, 
ammonites excavatus, and astarte planata. 

Pinna tetragona and affinis, 

Plagiostoma gigantea, spinosa, Hoperi, and riyida. 

Rostellaria, scalaria, serpula, and tellina, the species of 
which have not yet been determined. 

Terebratula crumena, tetraedra, subrotunda, subundata, 
semiglobosa, odoplicata, plicatilis, obliqua, lata, ovoides ; 
and there are found, in the diluvium, several species not yet 
figured by Sowerby. One (in my collection) is the young of 
a spinous terebratula, figured, by the Rev. Joseph Townsend, 
in his Geological Researches, plate XIV, figs, 8 and 9. 

Trigonia clavellata, alceformis, costata, and a very depressed 
variety of the latter. 

Trochus punctatus, and casts of trochi, are found in calca- 

312 On the Organic Remains 

reous sandstone boulders ; but the small portion of shell 
attached is not sufficient to identify the species. 

Turbo ornatus, and muricatiis imbedded in a boulder with 

Turritella muricata. A pyritous cast of a turritella in calca- 
reous sandstone, an imperfect shell in an oolitic nodule, and 
casts of others in sandstone, are all too imperfect to receive a 
specific name. 

Venus. Casts of two or three species occur. 

Unio Listeri, hybridns, crass issimiis, concinnus, and a very 
laterally elongated species, not yet figured. 


All the fossilized remains of this order, that I have met with 
in this county, were originally derived from the chalk strata. 
I have not seen a single specimen in the debris of any other 
stratum. They almost invariably occur as casts in flint — the 
shell destroyed. There are instances of casts entirely sur- 
rounded by the flint ; fracture liberates the cast, and exhibits 
the impression of the exterior of the shell : occasionally the 
shell is preserved enveloped in flint ; more rarely, the minera- 
lized shells, filled with chalk or flint, are found in chalk boulders. 
I possess the following : — 

Cidaris mammillata, with several spines in contact, but not 
attached ; in a chalk boulder. Cidaris papillata, and corol- 
larls. The long cylindrical spines of cidaris mammillata, and 
the fusiform or cucumerine and clavated spines of cidaris 
papillata, are not unfrequently met with in chalk boulders, or 
their impressions on flint. 

Echinocorys scutatus, casts in flint of both gibbous and 
depressed species or varieties. The same varieties of 

Conulus albogalerus ; and echinodiscus, scutella of Lamark. 

Spatangus cor marinum, ovum marinum (brissus), and casts 
of a species of this brissus, occur, with its dorsum singularly ele- 
vated at the commencement of the dorsal groove. 


Asterias semilunatus (pentagonaster semilunatus). Parkin- 
son's Organic Remains, &c., vol. iii., tab. I. fig. 1. I possess a 

of the Diluvium in Norfolk. 313 

nearly complete impression on flint, of a perfect remain of this 

Asterias regularis (pentagonaster regularls of Linck). Vide 
Parkinson's Org. Rem. vol. iii, tab. I. fig. 3, My specimen is 
an impression on flint ; two margins only are preserved. 


Impressions of the articulating surface of the vertebrae of 
pentacrinites hasaltlformis of Miller, are frequently met with 
on flints, from the light lands and gravel beds. 

A nodule of decomposing mountain limestone, almost en- 
tirely composed of fragments of vertebral columns of poterio- 
crinites crassus of Miller, was found in Roydon pit, near 


Ventriculites of Mantel ; Mantellia of Parkinson. Flints 
derived from the disrupted chalk strata, exhibit this zoophite 
in every degree of contraction and expansion ; and also its 
tubular structure, and membranous or spongoid laminse. They 
are usually found pyriform, or having the form of a mushroom. 
The species most frequently met with is radiatus. ManteFs 
Fossils of the South Downs, tab. X. 

Syphonia of Parkinson. Oviform spongoid remains in flint, 
having longitudinal tubes filled with the matrix, are frequently 
found on the light lands. 

Choanites Konigi. Mantel's Fossils, &c., tab. XVI. fig. 19, 
Is occasionally found in the beds of gravel, and light lands. 

Spongoid remains are very numerous, preserved in a matrix 
of flint. They occur in a variety of forms, as spheroidal, ovoid 
cylindrical, branched, palmated, and reniform, with and with- 
out pedicles ^ among them are found spongus lahyrinthicus 
and ToivnsendL Mantel's Fossils, &c., tab. XV. figs. 7 and 9. 

Madreporite allied to Madrepora annularis, of Solander and 

Madreporite allied to Madrepora galaxea, Sol. and EI. 

Madreporite allied to Madrepora ramea, Sol. and EI. (the 
caryophillia ramea of Lamark). 

Madreporite allied to Madrepora siderea, Sol. and EI. 

314 Organic Remains of the Diluvium in Norfolk. 

Madrepora centralis, ManteFs Fossils, &c., tab. XVI. figs. 
2 and 4, enveloped in a black flint. 

A compound porpital madreporite, resembling fig. 4, plate 
VII. in vol. ii. of Parkinson's Organic Remains. 

The vegetable remains consist of fragments of wood, imbed- 
ded in septaria, calcareous sandstone, carstone, oolitic lime- 
stone, and black flint ; it occurs bored by teredines, bitumi- 
nized, silicified, and impregnated with oxide of iron, andiron 

A few remarks only remain to be offered in conclusion. On 
referring to the diluvian remains enumerated, it cannot but at- 
tract notice, that they should consist of the bones of land ani- 
mals, except in a very few instances of those of the whale. 
This singular fact naturally leads to an inquiry into the source 
of the water that inundated the earth at the Noachian deluge, 
and raises a question as to its marine origin. If the deluge 
were produced by the sea leaving its bed (our present dry land), 
to be deposited in another basin ; or inundated the then inha- 
bited surface, for a certain time, and receded ; in either case, 
surely, some of its testaceous inhabitants would have been de- 
posited with the mud. I am not aware that this subject has 
been before placed in a similar point of view. I have not time 
to search early writers and theorists ; indeed, I do not intend to 
argue the point, nor, perhaps, am I competent to the task; I 
merely state the fact and raise the question. 1 believe it not 
to have been a marine irruption. Holy Writ * bears me out in 
my assertion ; the absence of the diluvian remains of marine 
testacea is powerfully corroborative, and (in my opinion) alone 
warrants the doubt above promulgated. 

* Genesis, chap. vii. verses 4, 1 1, and 12. 

InD'Oyly's and Mant's Bil)le,the following notes are sfiven upon verses 
11 and 12. Verse 11 —And the windows of Heaven were opened — " By 
this must be understood the causing of the waters, which were suspended 
in the clouds, to fall upon the earth, not in ordinary showers, but in 
floods, or, as the Seventy translate it, in cataracts; of which travellers 
may have the truest notion, who have seen those prodigious falls of water, 
so frequent in the Indies, where the clouds many times do not break into 
drops, but fall with a terrible violence in a torrent." — Bishop Patrick — 
— Stackhouse. 

Verse 12. — Andthe rain was upon the earth forty days, <^c. — " It con- 
tinued raining so Jong without any intermission." — Bishop Patrick, 


Reply to Mr, James Ivoiys Answer in No. XXIII. of the 
Philosophical Magazine and Annals of Philosophy, 

In the Phil, Mag. and Annals for November last, Mr. Ivory 
has brought forward what he calls an *' Answer" to my article, 
in No. VII. of the Journal of Science, on his doctrines about 
sound and heat. A prominent, and perhaps unavoidable fea- 
ture of Mr. Ivory's answer, which cannot fail to strike the 
reader's attention, is, the total absence of everything bearing 
immediately on the points in dispute. The whole affair is got 
conveniently over, by a series of excuses more or less plau- 
sible ; while every one of my criticisms remains unanswered 
in full force. 

Mr. Ivory's first insinuation is, that my strictures are little 
else than taken from Professor Leslie's article Acoustics. He 
takes good care to offer no evidence of this. I have only to 
regret, that, so far from its having been the fact, I had entirely 
forgotten that that valuable article contained any objection to 
the theory of sound. I now see, that had I looked into it in time, 
I might have materially improved my paper. I presume, how- 
ever, that by endeavouring to sift the analytical investigation 
to the bottom, I have distinctly pointed out several striking 
inconsistencies, impossibilities, and unwarrantable assumptions, 
not before noticed by any one ; and therefore, '* the subject 
is not left," as Mr. Ivory could wish, " just where I found it." 

Mr. Ivory next remarks on my article, that " whatever pur- 
pose such discussions may serve, one is at a loss to find out 
how they can benefit science." A very natural remark to be 
sure, while the tide of discussion ran against Mr. Ivory. He 
might just as well say, he was at a loss to see how the destruc- 
tion of weeds, and other useless or noxious herbs, can benefit 
the produce of a garden. The removal of spurious productions, 
especially those wearing the garb of mathematical investiga- 
tion, being as necessary and beneficial to the progress of 
science, as the destruction of weeds in the other case. I would 
rather ask — what benefit can result to science, from an *' An- 
swer," which leaves unanswered everything it professed to 
answer ? In particular, it " leaves the analytical theory of 
sound," which I had impugned, ** to stand on its own merits,'* 

316 Mr. Meikle's reply to Mr. Ivory. 

after it had not a foot left to stand upon. This is bringing suc- 
cour to the distressed, with a witness ; and evinces the heroism 
of the champion who had purposely come forward to answer 
the charges in my paper. 

Mr. Ivory's pretended ignorance of what I had previously 
written on these subjects, must appear in no small degree para- 
doxical to those who examine his papers in the Phil. Mag. 
for February, March, and April, 1827. These papers bear in 
such a way upon the chief points discussed in my previous 
writings, as can neither be ascribed to blind chance, nor ex- 
plained by the doctrine of probabilities. Of this, I shall now 
give an instance or two. In the articles just cited, Mr. Ivory 
shows an anxiety he had never till then manifested, for impress- 
ing his readers with the belief, that the common mode of gra- 
duating the air-thermometer forms a true scale of temperature. 
Now, ^* how could it benefit science" to press such a doctrine, 
without at the same time adducing so much as a new shadow 
of proof in its favour, if no person had been recently calling it 
in question ? For, so far as I know, no one had done so, for a 
long while, till I took up the subject, a few months before Mr. 
Ivory appeared with such zeal in its defence. Out of several, 
I shall add another instance. Neither Mr. Ivory, nor any one 
else, had questioned and rectified a certain integration in book 
xii. of the Mecaniqiie Celeste^ or in Mr. Poisson's Memoirs on 
the same subject, till I did so ; and then, Mr. Ivory was ready 
to question them too — with this very notable difference, how- 
ever, in attempting to correct the error, that my view of the 
matter is quite consistent, whereas Mr. Ivory's is full of con- 
tradiction, and directly opposed to some of the most familiar 
facts : he having precipitEited himself into far greater errors 
than those he was pretending to correct. This difference only 
strengthens the evidence, because Mr. Ivory would not be be- 
holden to me for any assistance in correcting an error, possess- 
ing, as he did, such ample resources of his own. 

The greater part of the answer consists of extracts, which 
Mr. Ivory brings from his own papers. How the repetition or 
copying of these, and that too in the same Journal, " could 
benefit science, one is at a loss to find out ;'" more especially 
after it had been clearly shown, that the doctrines which they 

Mr. Meikle's Uepty to Mr. Ivory. 5l^ 

inculcate, af6 full of extravagant inconsistency, and run 
counter to universal experience. But having produced these 
extracts, Mr. Ivory consoles himself that all my objections to 
his doctrines are derived from extreme cases. That this pitiful 
excuse is groundless, may be seen from some of the examples 
I formerly adduced ; where the errors alone are extreme, and 
scorn all bounds, while the cases are taken within moderate 
limits. Let us take, for instance, Mr. Ivory's own example, 
to which, of course, he cannot object, PhiL Mag, for Feb- 
ruary, 1827, page 94, where the density is to be doubted, and 
the initial temperature of the air is 32" F. By putting, there- 
fore, /j'=I, /?=2 and t= 32° in the general formula — 

8 V / p 

it becomes equal to 90° for the rise of temperature due to 
doubling the density ; making the resulting temperature 122". 
Now, if Mr. Ivory's rule were correct, the same air, by having 
its acquired density halved, should just have its temperature 
lowered 90°, or from 122" back again to 32° ; being in every 
respect restored to its original condition, for its quantity of heat 
is supposed to have all the while undergone no change. But 
if, in the same formula, we put p'=:2,'f)=l, and r=122^ the 
depression of temperature, in place of 90", is no less than 
213°.75 ; furnishing the extreme error of 123°.75, in Mr. 
Ivory's own mean case. 

But, lest all these instances may not satisfy Mr. Ivory, it 
may be worth while to prove the universal inconsistency of 
his rule, be the case what it may. For this purpose, I resume 
the general expression 

!(«» -^ ') X '-r- 

First, let the density suffer a sudden increase, or let p exceed 
p't which makes the last expression a rise of temperature. Next 
suppose the same mass of air, which has acquired this rise of 

* This, it will be recollected, is the general and analytical expression 
for Mr. Ivory's new law. In it, ^' and r denote the density and Fahren- 
heit temperature of the air, at the beginning of any sudden change of its 
volume, and ^ the density at the end ; Uie formula itself being the cor- 
responding change of temperature. 

OCT.— DEC. 1828. o-.^^ v^ 2 

Sil8 Mr. Meikle's Reply to Mr. Ivory. 

temperature, to have its volume instantly enlarged or restored 
to what it was at first. Then it is manifest that, if the quan- 
tity of heat in the air have all the vv^hile undergone no change, 
such air will just be restored to the first temperature, t. An 
expression for the diminution of temperature caused by this 
enlargement of volume, may obviously be obtained with the 
same values of the symbols, by making p' and p to change 
places in the above general formula, and likewise using, in it, 

the augmented, temperature t + — M48 + t\ x ^-^ in 

place of r. By this means we obtain, for the fall of tempe- 
rature due to restoring the original bulk, 

£ [448 + . + 4(4*8 + .)x^']xt^^ 
"which, with its sign changed, must just equal 

(448 + r\ xtzl 

the rise of temperature due to the previous condensation. 
From the equation so formed, we obtain, by reduction, /> = §'; 
that is, there has been no change of density, which is absurd, 
because directly contrary to the main supposition with which 
we set out. 

Hence, because / and p are any densities, and t any tempe- 
rature, the universal inconsistency of the rule is manifest. It 
cannot, therefore, be the law of nature, even within a limited 
range. Indeed, human genius could scarcely have devised a 
rule which would set reason and experience more completely 
at defiance. Thus, in place of compression causing an inde- 
finite rise of temperature, the rise is confined under a ridicu- 
lously-contracted range ; while, instead of an impassable limit 
of cold (which is inseparable from the scale Mr. Ivory defends), 
we have one which is bottomless and unfathomable ! 

Whether, then, shall we adopt a rule which is full of extra- 
vagant inconsistency, and palpably at variance with the facts 
best known, merely to accommodate Mr. Ivory, because he 
has run himself into a labyrinth from which he is unable and 
even loth to come out, or shall we venture on the more 
rational alternative of adopting the formula 

Mr. Meikle's Reply to Mr. Ivory. 319 

(448=+.) [(A)-- 1] 

where no inconsistency can be detected, and which, for aught 
that yet appears to the contrary, may hold good throughout 
the whole range within which air maintains the same form 
and constitution.^ This latter formula is equally free from 
the glaring case of tinder kindling under the boiling point, 
from a limited rise of temperature, and from an indefinite 
descent below the impassable limit of 448°. 

It is curious that Mr. Ivory's answer should conclude with 
his old complaint against M. Poisson's integrations. For if 
we will persist in assuming inconsistent hypotheses, there is 
no need for wondering at strange and incoherent results. 
The whole mystery arises from their assuming the common 
scale of the air-thermometer to be a true scale of temperature, 
which is utterly inconsistent with what they also lay down — 
that the specific heat of air under a constant pressure has an 
invariable ratio to its specific heat under a constant volume. 
Such mathematicians ought to know (for it is upwards of two 
years since I laid it before the public), that, if the invariable 
ratio just mentioned be made a fundamental principle, the 
necessary and unavoidable consequence is, that, when the 
variations of the quantify of heat in air are uniform, those 
of its volume, under a constant pressure, form a geometrical 
progression. I have more recently touched on this point, in 
an article which was written and sent off before seeing Mr. 
Ivory's answer. From it, the reader will be enabled to estimate 
what confidence is to be put in those *' easy deductions from 
the usual theory of the thermometer," on which' Mr. Ivory is 
incessantly harping*. 

I wish it to be distinctly understood, that, in discussing this 
subject, I do not endeavour so much to establish a particular 
theory, as to point out some of the consequences which are 
unavoidable, when we proceed on certain data ; and I only 
insist on these consequences within ihe range throughout 
which the data are supposed to hold good. 

Henry Meikle. 

two * "^^^^ article will appear in our next Number.— -Ed. 

Z 2 

'"'• S20 

Remarks on the Stowage and Sailing of Ships and Vessels, 
By Commander John Pearse, R. N. 

The following remarks have sprung from ideas formed 
during, and after a practical experience, as a seaman, of 
upwards of twenty years' active sea service. I commit them to 
paper as a seaman ; and solely with the intention of endeavour- 
ing to show, by a plain statement, what appear to me as 
errors in the system of stowing and sailing our ships. Perhaps 
J may venture to assert that, generally speaking, there is no 
regular system followed, or that the subject is not sufficiently 
considered on mathematical principles. 

Chapman, in the preface to his Treoftise on Ship- Building , 
observes that *' In the construction of ships, people usually 
make attempts at different times to improve the form, each 
person according to his own experience ; thus after the 
construction of one ship, which has been tried and found to 
possess such or such a bad quality, it seems possible to remedy 
this defect in another. But it often (not to say generally) 
happens, that the new ship possesses some fault equally as 
great, and frequently even that the former defect, instead of 
being removed, is increased. And we are unable to determine 
whether this fault proceeds from the form of the ship, or from 
other unknown circumstances. 

" It thus appears, that the construction of a ship with more 
or less good qualities, is a matter of chance and not of previous 
design. And it hence follows, that as long as we are without 
a good theory on ship building, and have nothing to trust to 
beyond bare experiments and trials, this art cannot be expected 
to acquire any greater perfection than it possesses at present. 

** At the same time the construction of ships and their 
equipment are attended with too great expense, not to 
endeavour beforehand to ensure their good qualities and their 
suitableness for what they are intended for. The theory then 
which elucidates the causes of their different qualities, which 
determines whether the defects of a ship proceed from its form, 
or from other causes, is truly important ; but as the theory is 
unlimited, practice must determine its limits. We may conse- 
quently further conclude, that the art of ship-building can 

On Stowage and Sailing, 321 

never be carried to the last degree of perfection, nor all pos- 
sible good qualities be given to ships, before we at the same 
time possess in the most perfect degree possible, a knowledge 
both of the theory and practice. 

** Lastly, it is evident from all that has been said, that a ship 
of the best form will not show its good qualities, except it is at 
the same time well rigged, well stowed, and well worked by 
those who command it." 

I have quoted the authority of Chapman to show that much 
depends on the stowage and management of a ship. 

Many experiments have of late years been tried, many im- 
provements made, and much, no doubt, yet remains to be done. 
But although naval architects appear still to differ respecting 
the formation of the body, it appears to me there is less room 
for improvement in the structure, than in the system of stowage 
and sailing, which appears to require considerable alteration, 
before it can reach perfection. 

It has been very generally observed how well our own 
ships after an action, and those captured from the enemy, 
have appeared to sail under jurymasts, or, comparatively 
speaking, they have appeared to sail better in proportion 
under jurymasts, than with their proper ones, — a strong proof 
in support of which occurred a few years since : — 

The Essex, late American frigate, sailed from Plymouth, 
under very low jurymasts, attended by the Dwarf cutter, of 
two hundred and ten tons, for Dublin, there to remain as a 
dep6t. At the entrance of the Bristol Channel, they fell in 
with a large smuggling lugger, to which they gave chace off* 
the wind ; the Essex, after a considerable run, capturing the 
lugger, and leaving the Dwarf out of sight, or nearly so, — a 
proof she must have sailed as fast as if properly masted. 

I shall mention one more circumstance. It will be recol- 
lected, the Vanguard, Lord Nelson's flag-ship, lost her fore- 
mast off" Toulon, previous to his fleet joining him, and his 
pursuit of the French fleet to Egypt. His lordship proceeded 
in the Vanguard, under a jury foremast, to Egypt, back to 
Sicily, and to Egypt again, where he found the enemy ; and 
I do not recollect the Vanguard causing the least delay or im- 

322 On the Stowage and Sailing 

pediment to the fleet. Had his lordship considered it hkely, 
or that the Vanguard would not have been able to keep her 
station in chace, in the event of falling in with the enemy at 
sea, he would, no doubt, have shifted his flag to some other 
ship ; and the world knows well his lordship was too anxious to 
be first in action to risk any thing that might disappoint him. 

From these and similar circumstances, an opinion that many 
of our ships are overmasted may have partly originated. 

Ships are supposed to be constructed agreeable to plans 
mathematically arranged, varying in their formation according 
to the ideas of different architects, and intended to be immersed 
to a certain depth in the water, when complete and ready for 
sea. To which floatation, it appears to me, they should be 
brought to and kept as near as possible, except there should 
be any material deviation in a ship from the plan about the 
load water-line; in that case it is better, and as a general thing 
it is as well, to observe the formation of the bottom about the 
load water-line, and be guided accordingly. 

If a ship is built strictly agreeable to the plan, and is im- 
mersed deeper than the builder intends, his views are frustrated, 
and the object of constructing a ship adapted for fast sailing 
lost sight of 

Professor Inman, in his general remarks on the construction 
of ships of war, observes, — 

" It may be observed, generally, that it is advantageous 
to give the projected ship the requisite stability with as little 
ballast as possible, by which means a constructor is enabled to 
reduce the displacement or magnitude of the body under water, 
a circumstance very favourable to a ship in sailing and work- 
ing. With a similar view every weight put on board, and 
reckoned in getting the displacement, should be kept as low as 
possible. No useless baggage or weight of any kind should be 
put on board on any account whatever." 

I have quoted the above authority as bearing a little on the 
point, and in corroboration of what I allege. 

I must also observe that, by too deep an immersion, the 
fullest part of the body would be carried below the surface ; 
<:ohsequently, the displacement would be considerably in- 

^»* of Ships and Vessels, 32S 

creased, and also the resistance of the water on the lower part 
of the bottom. It therefore appears to me, when a ship, 
immersed to a certain depth, has not sufficient stabiUty under 
sail, that the masts should be reduced, in preference to im- 
mersing it deeper in the water. 

That it is most natural a ship should have masts in propor- 
tion to the body below the surface, when immersed to what is 
considered a proper depth, must appear very evident ; and also 
that, with such masts, she would sail equally well, as with a 
deeper immersion and proportional addition to the masts. But 
it must be expected the ship would be more uneasy under the 
increased masts in bad weather ; and as the masts and rigging 
may be considered as back sail on a wind, the increased 
masts and rigging must also add to the impediment of her sail- 
ing. Consequently, the advantage must evidently appear in 
favour of the lesser masts and immersion. 

The case of the Essex must appear as strong proof in favour 
of the principle in sailing off* the wind ; being, no doubt, bal- 
lasted in proportion to her masts. At the same time it must 
be allowed no just conclusion could have been derived from a 
trial of her on a wind ; as on that point, although the sail might 
be considered in fair proportion to the body immersed, yet, 
from the body floating high above the surface, the resistance 
of the wind on it would have been much greater, than with a 
deeper immersion and masts in proportion. Neither would the 
immersion have been sufficient to resist the lateral impulse. 

Chapman, in his Treatise on Ship Building, observes that 
** to determine the surface proper to be given to the sails from 
the knowledge which we have of the effect of the wind on 
planes or sails, with different velocities in different directions, 
it would be necessary to enter upon long calculations of great 
difficulty, and yet of little importance. We may compare plans 
of ships and of their rigging which are tried and known, and 
nothing will be required further than to, be guided by those 
ships which have the best proportion of canvass, with respect 
to the centre of effort of the wind on the sails and the 

And Professor Inman, in his general remarks on the con- 
struction of ships of war, observes that, <' After all the pains 

324 On the Stowage and Sailing 

the constructor may take, from the imperfection of the theory 
of resistances, or from some other unknown causes, it is possible 
that a ship, on going to sea, will not be found to have the 
point of sail exactly adjusted to the mean resistance. In this 
case nothing can be done except by altering the masting, for 
effecting which, if possible, every practical facility should in 
the first place be left in the building, or by bringing the ship 
more by the head or stern ; thus adjusting the seat of the ship 
in the water to the masting, as it is." 

By which it appears there is no rule which can be strictly 
depended on, to calculate a correct proportion for the masts or 
their positions. 

Many of our ships of the same class and computed tonnage 
differ in the formation of their bottoms ; it also frequently hap- 
pens that one ship shews greater stability under sail than 
another ; and that, with the same quantity of provisions and 
stores, one is deeper immersed in the water than another. The 
only supposition to be drawn from it is, that they have the same 
proportion of masts and ballast. 

If the supposition be admitted, it appears to me very erro- 
neous, and that ships, though of the same computed tonnage, 
differing in the formation of their bottoms, ought not, as an 
established rule, to have the same proportion of masts and 

If one has less displacement than another, she will have less 
capacity in the hold ; consequently, will not stow so much, or 
require so great a -weight to immerse her so deep in the water. 
It therefore appears most natural she should have a less pro- 
portion of masts. 

As well as what Chapman and Professor Inman observes, 
respecting the proportions for and positions of the masts, it 
may be supposed, from the many alterations which have been 
made in the masts of our experimental ships, there is no rule 
to be depended on. And as Chapman observes, " we may 
compare plans of ships and of their rigging, &c.," which I 
have quoted before. 

That such would be the most correct method to ascertain a 
true proportion there can be little doubt ; but it appears to me 
no just conclusion can be made as to the proper proportion of 

^ of Ships and Vessels. 325 

masts, till the system of stowage has undergone considerable 

I have ventured to assert that, generally speaking, there is no 
regular system followed in stowing our ships. In proof of 
which, I think it is only necessary to recollect the many 
alterations in the stowage of our experimental ships, and the 
various alterations in the trim of them at sea, and which 
appear to have made considerable 'alterations in their sailing 

It is a very common practice to trim ships by making each 
man carry a shot or two aft ; removing the foremost guns aft, 
and which is frequently done to ease a ship in a head-sea. But 
it should be recollected when a ship is in chace, the foremost 
guns are those generally first wanted, and require to be in their 
places, and the men frequently required in their stations. It 
must, therefore, appear evident, that but few of our ships 
are properly stowed ; and that it is most essential an attempt 
should be made to improve the system, to obviate the necessity 
of such alterations at sea, by a better arrangement of the 
ballast, stores, and provisions. 

I am of opinion that perfection in the stowage should be made 
a primary object; when that is attained, there will be a sure 
foundation to work from, in finding a true proportion for the 
masts. It appears to me perfectly easy, and I hope to see it 
reduced to a regular and perfect system. 

I am also of opinion that, after viewing the formation of a ves- 
sel's bottom, very little consideration is required to determine 
how she ought to be stowed. Naval architects recommend the 
weight to be kept as near the centre as possible ; to me the 
formation of the bottom points it out, and that the extremities 
should be kept as light as possible, to ease the pitching and 
sending motion in a head sea. That all has not been done to 
effect that object, and which appears to me easily may, I shall 
endeavour to explain. 

Much cannot be said, and very little need be, as to the most 
proper place for stowing the ballast alone or its arrangement : 
it is the distribution of the other weights which can most con- 
tribute to it ; and the great weights, at present in the fore extre- 
mity, stand opposed to it. 

326 On the Sloivage and Sailing 

A fact well worthy of notice may be introduced here : — 

It is universally known how well the Kentish and Sussex 
smuggling vessels have always sailed. The fact is, there is very 
little but the cargo to stow, and that is placed in the centre of 
the vessel. A small quantity of provisions, a few sails, and 
their anchors and cables, is the only weight beside, and which 
is also kept clear of the extremities. And this method appears 
to be derived more from a sort of established knowledge or 
practice, which descends from father to son, than an acquired 
system, as perhaps there are no men possessed of less scientific 

I shall therefore Only observe, with respect to the ballast, that 
it should be winged in proportion to the supposed or ascer-r 
tained inclination of the ship to rolling, and on no account to 
extend it to the finer parts ; as without it, there is sufficient 
longitudinal space in a large ship to trim the ballast, so as to 
bring her to a proper draught of water, provided the stores and 
provisions are also properly arranged, and those of the least 
weight selected for stowing nearest the extremities. To contri- 
bute towards which, I propose removing the cat-heads, and 
stowing the anchors further aft; which may be effected, in my 
opinion, with little or no difficulty. 

Viewing it on lever principle, the weight is now at the very 
extreme end, and the lever in the position *' horizontal" of its 
greatest power. 

Chapman observes, *' the reason of the pitching and sending 
motion is easily seen. When a wave has passed the fore- part 
of the ship, and is got near the middle, there is a great void 
space under the bows, where the ship is not supported. It 
precipitates itself, therefore, with a certain momentum, which 
is the product of the weights in the fore-part, multiplied by 
their distance from the point where the ship is sufficiently sup- 

*' This kind of motion is greater in ships which are very full 
near the load-Avater-line fore and aft, and very lean below ; but 
if the weights in the fore-part are carried nearer the middle, the 
momentum with which the ship plunges itself in this part will 
be less ; and not only this motion becomes less quick, but, more- 
over, the following waves which meet the fore-part of the ship 

of Ships and Vessels, 

have less difficulty in raising it again. The same observation 
may be made on the aft-part." 

The preceding observations ought to be sufficient to convince 
all but the most prejudiced, that I am justified in what I pro- 
pose ; and naval architects must concur with me in its utilityj 
although they have never put it in practice. I shall therefore 
endeavour to show that it is practicable. 

By removing the cat-heads aft, there would be a few fa- 
thoms more of cat-fall to run up, but which, considering the 
very short time taken to cat the anchor, does not appear to me 
can be considered an objection : and the anchors being 
brought abaft the round of the bow, would fish clearer of the 
side than at present, and stow neater, and similar to the spare 
and sheet anchors. 

From observations which I have made on several frigates, 
it appears to me, if the cat-heads were removed to the fore part 
of the channels, which, in the several ships, would be from eight 
to ten further aft than where now placed, that both stock 
and fluke would stow perfectly clear of the ports. And when 
it is considered that a forty-six gun frigate's two bower anchors 
weigh four tons and a half, which, together with the stocks, 
cat-heads, knees, fastenings, &c., cannot be estimated at less 
than six or seven tons, there can be no doubt the removal aft 
of so much weight would give considerable relief to a ship 
in a head sea ; contribute to a better arrangement in stowing 
the ship, and in many cases obviate the necessity of stowing 
ballast too near the after extremity. It would also be 
removing fifty per cent more weight than the two foremost 

There are no vessels which require easing in a sea more 
than our brigs. The weight of an eighteen gun brig's two 
bower anchor, stocks, cat -heads, knees, fastenings, &c. cannot 
be estimated at much less than foar tons ; and which, by a 
little alteration in the arrangement of the chain-plates, to admit 
the fluke of the anchor in between two shrouds, I am of 
opinion may be removed aft seven or eight feet, and the anchors 
stow clear of the ])orts : as the spare anchor stows clear which 
is placed abaft the channels, I can see no reason why the 
bowers should not. imwh 

328 On ih<B Stowage mid Sailing 

In cutters I have had the cat-heads so far aft, that the crown 
of the anchor has stowed close to the fore shroud ; they have 
stowed perfectly easy, and I observed that the copper about 
the bows has been less injured, than in vessels which had their 
cat-heads further forward. 

It is in our smaller and sharpest vessels its effect would be 
greatest, but there can be no doubt of its advantage in all ships ; 
and should the experiment be tried, I have no doubt it will be 
extended to all. 

In many ships, and all our smaller vessels, the coal-hole is 
also very far forward ; and as the coals are a considerable 
weight, and not speedily consumed, I should recommend stowing 
them further aft, and water where they are now, and to use 
this water first. 

There is also a very great weight in the fore extremity of a 
hne-of-battle ship ; the gunner's, boatswain's, and carpenter's 
stores, which it appears tome may be stowed nearer the centre 
the ship, by the following arrangements. 

Where those stores are now stowed, to build a room to 
receive part of the bread from aft, keeping a clear wing passage 
round the bows, by which means the bread would be as well 
preserved as if in the after bread-room. The bread forward 
can be used first, or it can be taken from forward and aft 
alternately, as the trim of the ship may appear to require. The 
remaining space to be divided into store-rooms for marine- 
clothing, slops, beds, and such light weights as are at present 
stowed in the after cock-pit. 

All the mates, midshipmen, and assistant-surgeons to mess 
in the gun-room, a much more healthy and airy situation than 
the cock-pit, and to have a store-room in the cock-pit for the 
mess-utensils and sea-stores. 

By the removal of bread forward the after bread-room may 
be considerably reduced, and the surgeon's and purser's cabins 
removed further aft. By such an arrangement there would 
be sufficient space abaft the cable-tiers for the reception of 
the gunner's, boatswain's, and carpenter's stores ; and which 
would not be much abaft the centre of the ship. 

In frigates also, and smaller vessels, similar arrangements 
should be made as far as possible; and if. those were carried 

of Ships and Vessels, 32d 

into effect, there would be no necessity for extending the stow- 
age of the ballast to the after extremity, as is too often the 

In the Cruizer, '^eighteen gun-brig," we were obliged to stow 
ballast in the bread-room — the case I believe in most of the 
brigs ; which would not have been requisite had the anchors and 
coal-holes been removed further aft. Since which I believe some 
alteration has been made in the store-rooms ; but if weight has 
been reduced in the fore extremity by that means, it has been 
increased again by the addition of a heavy forecastle, which 
also considerably increases the top weight, Poops and quarter 
boats have followed the fore-castles ; and to the little ten gun- 
brigs, all this additional top weight has been added — even a 
cutter of one hundred and twenty tons follows the rage for 
carrying quarter boats. 

I must repeat an observation of Professor Inman's, as it is 
most applicable to the point in question : — 

" It may be observed, generally, that it is advantageous to 
give the projected ship the requisite stability with as little 
ballast as possible, by which means a constructor is enabled to 
reduce the displacement or magnitude of the body under water, 
a circumstance very favourable to a ship in sailing and work- 
ing. With a similar view every weight put on board, and 
reckoned in getting the displacement, should be kept as low 
as possible. No useless baggage or weights of any kind should 
be put on board on any account whatever." 

Every one who can agree with Professor Inman, must corr- 
demn the system of adding so much top and overhanging 

Fore-castles were first fitted by the captains, were very 
light, and could not have caused much impediment to the 
vessels sailing; but the heavy way they are now fitted, many 
with heavy bulwarks above them, and other additions which 
have succeeded, must be materially felt. 

I may be told the quarter-boats are of a light description ; 
but when every common sailor will admit a jacket hung in the 
rigging to be an impediment to sailing on a wind, I say it is 
inconsistent to carry quarter-boats in such small vessels. But 

330 On the Stowage and Sailing 

allowing them to be of a light description, the weight of the iron 
davits is to be added, and it should be remembered that when 
a vessel is launching, although its actual weight is not, yet it§ 
power is considerably increased by the action of the vessel. 

I was four years and a half first lieutenant of an eighteen gun- 
brig; they were then in their original state, and no vessels sailed 
better. I afterwards commanded a large cutter four years, and 
had many opportunities of saiUng with brigs, in their original 
state. Subsequent to which I commanded a large cutter three 
years, and under the orders of several of the finest brigs in 
their present state ; and I am convinced they neither sail nor 
work so well as formerly, and that it is attributable to the 
alterations which have been made. ; 

I am also of opinion, that by taking away the poops and 
quarter- boats, building the fore-castles as light as possible, 
with only a low wash-stroke of three-quarter-inch elm or oak 
board above it, which would be quite sufficient, and removing 
the anchor and coal-holes further aft, they would be superior 
in their sailing qualities and as sea-boats, to what they were in 
their original state. 

Masts are frequently raked, by some to ease a ship in a head 
sea, by others to improve her sailing. 

It does not however occur to me that it can give much relief 
to a ship : for, supposing it to be the overhanging weight of the 
mast, acting on lever principle, which contributes to the pitch- 
ing motion, the mast must be considerably beyond a perpendi- 
cular before it can have much effect ; and admitting the sup- 
position, it may naturally be supposed that a raking mast will 
act diametrically, and increase the sending motion aft. 

But there appears to me a great objection to raking masts, 
in ships and square-rigged vessels. 

If masts are raked, the yards are not at right angles with 
them, when a ship is on a wind. The consequence is, the sails 
are put out of their proper form, and drawn, or I may say 
forced, towards a diamond shape. The mainsail shows it in 
the diagonal girt across the sail from the tack to the lee- 
earing ; the leeches of the sails are quite slack, and bag to 

of Ships and Vessels^ 331 

It is allowed the wind acts on the same principle when 
striking the sails obliquely, as if perpendicular or at right 
angles — its power decreasing as the obliquity increases. If, 
therefore, the lee leeches of sails are slack and bag to leeward, 
the obliquity of the wind must be increased, and its povyer les 
sened. It therefore appears much preferable to give a ship 
relief by removing weight from the fore extremity, than by 
raking the masts. 

I have frequently heard of various alterations having been 
tried in ships, to improve their sailing, and that raking the 
masts was the only one which proved successful. This is a 
circumstance which, it appears to me, may be considered as 
arising from some of those unknown causes alluded to by 
Professor Inman in the following observation : — 

** After all the pains the constructor may take, from the im- 
perfection of the theory of resistances, or from some other 
unknown causes, it is possible that a ship, on going to sea, will 
not be found to have the point of sail exactly adjusted to the 
mean resistance. In this case, nothing can be done except by 
altering the masting ; for effecting which, if possible, every 
practical facility should, in the first place, be left in the 
building, or by bringing the ship more by the head or stern, 
thus adjusting the seat of the ship in the water to the masting 
as it is." 

The circumstance, however, proves an error ; but where it 
is difficult to determine, — and without being in possession of 
particulars, it were useless to attempt it. The ships might 
not have had their proper seats in the water ; the point of sail 
might not be correctly adjusted, or it might arise from some 
other cause. 

It is evident, however, that, seated in the water as they 
were, they required more after-sail — consequently could not 
have steered well 5 and it generally happens when a ship 
steers badly she does not sail well. The conclusion, therefore, 
may very naturally be, that raking the masts improved both 
steerage and sailing qualities. ''^ 

It however appears to me, when a ship is properly seated in 
the water and requires more after-sail, that it is preferable to 
remove the foremast a Uttle further aft than to rake the masts, 

&3& bii the Stowage and Sailing bf Ship^* 

as it would have the same effect, and give considerable rdief 
to the fore extremity. 

There is one part of Professor Inman's observation — ** or by 
bringing the ship more by the head or stern, thus adjusting the 
seat of the ship in the water to the masting, as it is," which 
it appears to me can only be meant as a temporary expedient, 
and till an opportunity offers to alter the masting, as it would 
be sacrificing a very material point — the proper seat of the 
ship in the water. 

J. P. 

Plymouth^ Nov. 22, 1828. 

On the Elevation of TVater by the momentive Force of that 
Fluid in the Suction Pipe of a Pump. Communicated by 
R. Addams, Esq. 

The principle upon which the action of the water-ram (belier 
hydraulique) depends, is known to the readers of this Journal * ; 
but I am not aware that any one has, publicly, noticed or ob- 
served the same principle producing a similar effect without a 
fall or head of water. I am, therefore, inclined to suppose the 
following description of a hydraulic operation, which I have 
lately witnessed, possesses sufficient novelty to constitute an 
admissible article in the Journal of Science and the Arts. 

In the water-ram, the momentum is generated in proportion 
to the velocity of the water ; and the velocity is dependent upon 
the fall : but it is obvious the same effect would take place 
from the same momentive force, in whatever manner this force 
may originate. 

Now, when a common pump is worked and drawing water 
from a well, the air presses the water through the ingress or 
suction-pipe with a certain velocity: the moving water in that 
pipe will have a proportionate momentum ; and if it be suddenly 
checked it vvill exhibit its force as in the water-ram. This 1 
have seen verified in a pump at the house of Mr. Balaam at 
Clapham. I was requested to examine it, and explain its 
action. . • 

* Journal of Science, Vol. I., 0. S. 

On ihe Illevation of Water, 


• The accompanying section will serve to abridge the descrip- 
tion of the parts. 




A is a pump which draws water from the well W, about 
twelve feet deep. C D is a pipe which branches from the in- 
gress pipe S, and ascends fifteen feet above S to supply (by 
means of a second pump B) the reservoir R. The bend in the 
pipe at C was made that it may conform to the floor of an un- 
derground cellar. 

When the pump A is worked, water rises up the pipe C D, 
passing through the valves of the pump B, and is discharged 
from thence, in a pulsatory manner, at every descent of the 
piston A. 

The quantity which thus flows into R is about a quart in 
seven minutes. But a contrivance belongs to the pump which 
can be made to keep its piston-valve shut ; then it acts as a 

OCT.— DEC 1828. 2 A 

334 Mr. Ranking on the Remains of Elephants 

forcing pump to impel water up the pipe E, and in this mode 
of employing it, a larger portion of water ascends into the 
receptacle R. 

It is thus explained. When a current of water is urged 
along the pipe S, it is partially checked when the piston A is 
depressed, and working as an ordinary pump, but entirely 
stopped provided the piston- valve be kept closed : in either case 
the momentive force of the water expands in every direction, 
and the column of fluid in the rising pipe C D is put in motion, 
but more considerably in the latter condition, in consequence 
of the stoppage of the water being more complete. 

No doubt the effect of the engine would be increased if the 
upper pump were removed, and a single valve, contained in an 
air-chamber, placed near the bottom of C D. 

Nov. 21th, 1828. 

Remarks on some Remains of Elephants, lately found on the 
American Shore in Behring's Straits, by John Ranking, 

" Two tusks of the mammoth were brought home by Captain Beechey. 
they are in fine preservation, and not bent in one direction, but twisted 
spirally like the horns of some species of cows. The smallest is quite 
entire, and is nine feet nine inches long ; the largest, which wants a small 
part of the point, must have measured originally twelve feet. Professor 
Jameson stated to the Wernerian Society, that the mammoth to which 
the largest belonged, must have been fifteen or sixteen feet high *, and 
consequently larger than the elephant, which is of the same species. Tliey 
•were found on the west coast of America, near Behring's Straits, at 
Escholz Bay, latitude 66°, in a bluff or mountain of ice, which has been 
described by Kotzebue : it is one hundred feet high. 

* Neither the height of this animal (which is conjectm-e only), nor the 
length of the tusks, can be deemed as marking a difference from modern 
elephants, which are known of fourteen feet, (Ency. Brit. " Elephas.") 
Coryate mentions them at Delhi thirteen and a half feet high. Fitch, at 
Pegu, saw some nine cubits in height, (Purchas, vol. v. p. 503.) A tusk 
is described of the length of fourteen feet, in the possession of a mer- 
chant at Venice ; and another at Amsterdam, v/hich weighs three hundred 
and fifty pounds. — (Rees's Cyclopaedia, art. *' Ivory.") 

lately found in Behring's Straits. 335 

" This mass of ice had imbedded in it a vast number of the tusks, 
teeth, and bones of the mammoth, of which the objects we have described 
were a part. Some parts of the ice near them had a smell of decayed 
animal matter ; arising, no doubt, from the decomposition of the flesh. 
The tusks are in their natural state ; but of two teeth, which accompanied 
them, one seems to be petrified, having, doubtless, been in contact with 
stone. The mammoth seems to have been an inhabitant of the whole 
northern hemisphere ; its teeth and bones having been found on both 
sides of North America, in Siberia, England, Scotland, and Italy, and 
other parts of Europe. The remains found in Ayrshire and England 
belong to a smaller species than these. The Edinburgh Museum is in- 
debted for them to Lord Melville." — Globe Newspaper, Nov. 22, 1828. 

" Les rivages de la baie de Kotzebue, (N. lat. 66° 37', W. 
Long, from Greenwich, 164° 42') ^taient composes de sable et de 
cailloux; en d'autres endroits. Us etaient uniquement formes par des 
masses de glace, dont une couche d'argile et de terre veg6tale, 
6paisse d'un pied et demi et couverte de mousse, revetait les somraets. 
La plage consistait en terreau noir, entraine d'en haut par la fonte des 
glaces, et en couches de mousse et d'argile que la mSrae cause prc- 
cipite sur les teirains bas ; ou, quand elles rencontrent des endroits 
degarnis par les chaleurs, de I'et^, elles empSchent ensuite la glace de 
fondre. Montes au sommet, nous creusames la terre ; partout on trouva 
la glace quelquefois a moins d'un pied de profondeur ; elle etait solide et 
pure, et avait, depuis sa base le long du rivage, pres de soixante pieds 
de hauteur ; cette masse gelee se prolongeait dans Test jusqu'aux mon- 
tagnes. On d^couvrit dans les tas de terre et de mousse sur la plage, 
plusieurs defenses et une dent molaire de mammouth." — (^Voyage Pitto- 
resque autour du Monde, par M. Louis Choris. Paris, 1822.) 

The above are considered by many to be the remains of 
mammoths which existed before the creation of man: by 
others they are supposed to have been drowned at the great 
Deluge ; by some, these northern regions are imagined to have 
been tropical countries, and Siberia, England, Sec. to have 
been the native haunts of elephants, tigers, hippopotami, tapirs, 
&c. The historical origin of such fossil remains in general 
has been traced, and in nearly every instance with success. 
The design of these remarks is to prove that those found in 
Behring's Straits are the remains of those elephants which have 
belonged to the Turks, Moguls, or Chinese, whose capitals and 

2 A2 

336 Mr. Ranking on the Remains of Elephants 

residences have been, from the earhest ages, on the banks of the 
several rivers, some of the largest upon the globe, which dis- 
charge their copious streams into the Arctic and Pacific Seas : 
viz. the Amoor, the Hoang, the Kiang-keou, the Lena, the 
Jenesai, the Irtish, the Tobol, and the Oby. 

The Amoor is formed by the Argoon and the Shilka, and dis- 
charges itself into the Pacific Ocean in north latitude 53°, east 
longitude from Greenwich, 142° 14^ The Shilka rises in the 
Yablonnoy Mountains, east longitude 109° 14', being formed by 
the tributary streams Ingoda, Onona, and Nertcha, and passes 
by Nertshinsk. (Tooke, vol. i. 271. Rees's Cyc. "Amur.") 
Genghis Khan, the first Great Mogul, was born near the city 
of Nertshinsk, and some of his family continued to reside there 
after his immense conquests. It was the custom of the im- 
perial family to travel in large carriages drawn by four ele- 
phants, and four white dromedaries j the emperor, empress, 
and children each having a separate one. 

Pekin was conquered in 1211, and wajs the capital of the 
Mogul emperors to the year 1369. They possessed many 
thousands of elephants, and used those quadrupeds on their 
hunting expeditions towards the gulf of Leaotong, annually, 
when the whole court establishment, consisting of fifty or a 
hundred thousand persons, attended the emperor. Banks of 
rivers, all of which, in this quarter, run into the Pacific, must 
have been, from necessity, the usual residence on these expedi- 
tions. In the year 1286, Kublai fought his rebel relation, 
Nayan, chief of a district in Leaotong, who disputed the em- 
pire. There were eight hundred and sixty thousand com- 
batants, and elephants were used ; the grand khan being in a 
castle borne upon the backs of four elephants. The Sira 
Muren, near this scene of blood and destruction, discharges 
its waters into the gulf of Leaotong. — (Wars and Sports, 
ch. ii.) 

The capital of China is placed by Ptolemy in latitude 38° 36', 
and in ancient times there was a " council of five thousand^ 
every one of whom findeth an elephant for the commonwealth." 
— {Purchas, ed. 1525, vol. v. p. 400.) As far back as the 
year before Christ 1100, Singan, in Shensi, was the capital of 
China. The emperor who resided here invaded Tartary and 

lately found in Behriny^s Straits. 337 

joined Afrasiab, the Scythian monarch, against the Persians. 
They were entirely defeated by Roostum. The Chinese 
monarch was mounted on a white elephant. (Wars and Sports, 
p. 87.) Thus elephants were in use at Singan, which is in 
latitude 35° 14', on the river Hoei-ho, which joins the Hoang- 
ho in east longitude 1 10°, the mouth of which is in the Pacific, 
in east longitude 120°. Elephants are used for drawing ships 
upon the river Kiang-keou, which is more than two thousand 
miles long. (Vincent le Blanc, p. 103.) 

From Kinsai, Japan was invaded A. D. 1283, according to 
the annals of Japan, by the Tartar General Mookoo with four 
thousand * ships and two hundred and forty thousand troops. 
At this epoch the emperor Shi-tsu (Kublai) always used 
elephants in his wars. The expedition was dispersed and 
supposed to be destroyed by a storm. Moguls and elephants 
landed in Peru and California, according to all the traditions, 
and remains of elephants are found at the places which those 
traditions relate to. Ambassadors were sent upon elephants 
to the great Mexican lake. Montezuma's ancestors tarried at 
Culiacan till the year 1324, when they advanced, selected a 
wild spot of underwood, threw up entrenchments, ^inl founded 
the city of Mexico. They fought the Tlascallans with ele- 
phants. A skeleton of an elephant has been found in a tomb 
in Mexico, which had evidently been constructed on purpose ; 
and wild elephants are now existing at Choco in Colombia, 
and on the western side of the Missouri.f Chinese ships were 
found wrecked upon the coast of South America by the 
earliest Spaniards. We may therefore safely conclude, that 
many elephants were lost in this tempest. The annals of 

* Whatever the real number of ships was, six hundred were built 
specifically for this expedition, at " Kiang-nan, Fou-kien, Ho-nan and 
Chan-tong." (Marsden's Marco Polo, p. 574.) These might have the 
accommodation for the elephants ; two of which, in each of these ships, 
would be more effectual against the cavalry of Japan (where there are 
no elephants) than any number of horses ; and be more easily conveyed 
and fed. They would also land in armour, and in better condition for 
immediate action than cavalry. 

t See Quarterly Journal of Science, January, 1828, p. 356, 

338 Mr. Ranking on the Remains of Elephants 

Mexico^ and also of the Incas, according to Sir Isaac New- 
ton's mode of computation, accord with the date of this in- 
vasion of Japan. 

The Lena. This noble river commences on the west side 
of Lake Baikal, and flows into the Arctic Sea in the latitude 
73°; it is five thousand versts* in length. The islands at the 
mouths of the Lena have been famous for the mammoth -f 
fishery from the earliest ages. The tusks are prized by the 
Chinese, Turks, and Persians as infinitely preferable to ele- 
phants' ivory. J The Chinese history, five centuries before 
Christ, mentions these walrus haunts. The furs, the hawks 
and falcons of these northern latitudes are highly esteemed. 
The Turks, who possessed elephants, conquered Yakutsk in 
the sixth century, and named that country Northern Tur- 
questan. In the thirteenth century the Emperor Kublai sent 
to the islands at the mouth of the Lena for his hawks and 
falcons. II He kept ten thousand falconers. Some elephants 
have been found in the ice in these parts, and Mr. Adams 
describes ruins of ancient forts and mutilated remains of 
grotesque sculpture. The number of walruses slain annually 
is quite astonishing. § The mountain scenery at the mouth of 
the Lena, says Mr. Adams, *' exalts the soul, and I was filled 
with emotions of joy at finding so much happiness amidst the 
Polar ice among these gay and innocentTunguse fishermen."^ 
In the year 1290, Kublai sent mathematicians to ascertain the 

* A verst is three thousand five hundred English feet. Monsieur 
Lesseps crossed the Lena where it was two leagues in breadth. 

t This is the name of the walrus in these regions, which has been 
transferred to the elephant : hence innumerable errors in first-rate books 
of science and speculation. 

$ It is said that they prefer it even to gold for the hafts of their sci- 
mitars and daggers. The ivory of the walrus does not become yellow, 
like that of the elephant. 

II Marsden's Marco Polo, p. 221 . 

§ Wars and Sports, chap. xyj. 

f Ibid., p, 249. 

lately found in Behring's Straits. 339 

latitude, as fair as the 55th degree. The vicinity of Genghis's 
birth-place to the Lena, when we consider the immense scale 
of the hunting expeditions, will diminish the wonder that 
remains of elephants have been frequently found in these 

The Jenesai. The contents of the tombs at the city of 
Jenesai, at Krasnoyarsk and several other places in these parts, 
attest the residence of Mogul sovereigns. Thousands of cast 
idols in gold, medals of gold, large plates upon which the corpse 
is laid, diadems and chess-boards and men all of gold, &c., 
&c. and remains of elephants, are found in these tombs. 
The greatest antiquity of these tombs (when discovered) was 
eleven hundred years, the latest four hundred.* 

The Irtish. The fertile region at the sources of the Irtish 
is the favourite head-quarters of Turks, Moguls, and Calmucs 
(and Chinese) from early ages ; the Greek emperors in the 
sixth century sent embassies to the Turks at this place. 
Kaidou, great grandson of Genghis and nephew of Kublai, 
governed central Siberia, and rebelled in the year 1268. 
Timur Kaan, Viceroy of Bangalla, Ava and Yunnan, invaded 
Siberia, and this rebellion was not terminated for thirty-three 
years, during which Kaidou was, in 1297, driven northtvard ; 
many battles were fought by the river Irtish; and the Grand 
Khans were the whole time obliged to keep numerous armies 
in these countries. The first invasion was with three hundred 
thousand troops. 

At Tara, Ommostroc, Tomsk, Batsamki, and Isetskoe, the 
governors permitted the people to ransack the neighbouring 
tombs, reserving a tenth share for themselves ; the treasures 
were not exhausted after many years digging. Urns, figures 
in gold of the hippopotamus, tables of silver, and innumerable 
curiosities were found in the tombs. As Timur Kaan had all 
the elephant countries east of the Burrampooter under him 
(he became emperor in 1294, named Ching-tsong), we may 
safely conclude, many remains having been found in these 

* Tooke's Russian Empire, vol. ii., p. 48. 

340 Mr. Ranking on the Remains of Elephants 

quarters, that he was accompanied by numbers of those 

The Tohol. Between the sources of the Ischim and the 
Tobol, Oguz, the Caesar of the East, resided. Many ruins 
and stone sculptures are existing in those deserts. This great 
conqueror subdued Cathay, and the countries called India 
extra Gangem, about eight centuries before Christ. Wars 
against China were frequent in those ages ; and, in the note 
on the Amoor, we have seen that the Emperor of China was 
an ally of the Scythians against the Persians, and fought upon 
an elephant. — (Wars and Sports, ch. iii. and v.) 

The Ohy. The Tobol flows into the Oby at Tobolsk, and 
the Irtish joins the Oby in lat. 61°. The Oby reaches the 
Arctic Sea in lat. 66°. 

A.D. 1242, Sheibani, grandson of Genghis Khan, founded 
Genghidin, on the west side of Tobolsk; and the capital was, 
after some years, established at Siber, eastward of Tobolsk. 
Siber was the capital of western Siberia, till that immense 
region was discovered by the Russians, long after the death of 
Columbus ; and Siber was conquered, and the Mogul power 
abolished, in the year 1586. All India beyond the Ganges 
was conquered by Kublai, cousin of Sheibani, in 1272. Re- 
mains of elephants have been found in many places in this 
neighbourhood — some of them very little decayed. 

Although some of the rivers above named may not be of a 
depth or description to admit of the dead body of an elephant 
being conveyed to the ocean, it must nevertheless be considered 
that many of the rivers enumerated are every year much swollen 
by the melting of the snow, and that heavy weights may float 
to their mouths upon the ice which breaks up in the spring =*. 
We must take into consideration the number of elephants that 
may have been lost on the Japanese expedition, and the cer- 

♦ The reader may judge of the commotions in the elements in these 
regions, by the fact of whales (one of them eighty-four feet long), described 
also by scientific writers as mammothSy being found above eight hundred 
miles inland from the Arctic Sea. — Strahlenberg, p. 404. 

latehj found in Behrlmfs Straits. 341 

tainty that the largest and most valuable animals, from any 
peculiarity in the tusks, would naturally be sent as presents 
from the elephant provinces to the family residences, as the 
most acceptable; and that the same shaped tusks of these 
supposed antediluvian elephants have been found at Newnham, 
near Rugby, in England (the Tripontio of the Romans) * ; and 
that remains of another elephant were found near Gloucester, 
mingled with bones and horns of oxen, sheep, and hogs ; and 
a square stone with them, supposed to have belonged to a 
sacrificial altar. — (Hakewill's Apology, p. 228.) One was 
found near the sign of Sir John Oldcastle, in a gravel pit, near 
which a battle had been fought between the Britons and 
Romans, and with it the head of a British spear, made of 
flint. If we add to these facts that, in almost every place in 
Italy, Spain, and France, where remains of elephants have 
been dug up, it is known that the Carthaginians and Romans 
had fought battles in which elephants were slain, the reader 
who is in search of the truth will not fail to hesitate in his 
speculations regarding these tusks from Behring's Straits being 
of antediluvian origin .+ 

♦ Horsley, Brit. Rora., p. 436. 

t The following is another proof of the necessity of caution on this in- 
teresting subject : — 

" The jaw-bone of an enormous unknown animal has been discovered 
at Epperheim, in the canton of Arrey, on the left bank of the Rhine, by 
M. Schleiermacher. Several teeth had previously been found, resembling 
those which this jaw-bone contains ; but as they were similar to those of 
the tapir, credit was given to the antediluvian existence of a gigantic 
species of that animal. This discovery will undeceive naturalists on that 
point. This animal belongs to a new genus. Supposing that its body 
was as small in proportion to the head as in the hippopotamus, its entire 
length must have been nineteen French feet. The largest quadruped hi- 
therto known was a gigantic sloth, the megalonix, which was twelve feet 
\0T\gr—Literarij Gazette, Nov. 22, 1828. We are not acquainted with 
the anatomy of the Om-Kergay, described by Burckhardt ^Quarterly 
Review, Dec. 1823, p. 521) as quite harmless, and the size of a rhinoceros. 


P radical Comparison of different Tables 0/ Mortality. In 
a Letter to Sir Edward Hyde East, Bart., M.P.,F.R.S. 

(By a Correspondent.) 
My Dear Sir, 

I had the honour of addressing to you, a few years since, 
an investigation of the value of human life, which was published in 
the Philosophical Transactions for 1 826 : and I had then occasion 
to employ a formula for expressing the annual decrements of life at 
all ages, in such a manner, as to serve sufficiently well for the in- 
tended purpose, of harmonizing the mean standard table, of which 
I had obtained the basis from a comparison of various documents. 
This formula would have been much too complicated for any thing 
like a direct introduction into the detail of calculation : but I have 
lately had the good fortune to discover some simpler expressions, 
which are capable of being extensively applied, with great con- 
venience, to different cases occurring in the practice of Insurance, 
and which may also be readily adapted to a variety of tables of 
mortality, so as to afford a far nearer approach to the results belong- 
ing to each, than could be obtained from calculations derived from 
any other tables ; and will frequently indeed be more likely to 
represent the true law of nature at each place of observation, than 
the actual records of a limited experience for each particular year 
throughout life. 

2. The great computer Demoivre employed, on different occa- 
sions, two different hypotheses respecting the mean value of life : 
and each of these has its advantages in particular cases. The first 
was the arithmetical hypothesis, supposing, for instance, that out of 
100 or of 86 persons born together, 1 shall die annually till the whole 
number be exhausted. The second was the geometrical hypothesis, 
as, supposing that 1 in 50, or in 100, of the living at any age shall 
die within a year : a law which seems somewhat to approach to 
that of nature in extreme old age. 

3. I have lately added to these, from examining a report of the 
experience of the Equitable Assurance Office, a third hypothesis, 
which may be called the exponential; the proportional mortality ap- 

Comparison of different Tables of Mortality. 343 

pearing to be represented by a geometrical progression of divisors ; 
so that we may suppose the divisor to be doubled once in every 
ten years that the age falls short of 115 ; while, in the Northampton 
table, which approaches very near to the law of the arithmetical 
hypothesis, the divisor requires to be doubled more nearly once in 
22 years. 

4. The exponential hypothesis affords us, as I have shown by an 
example, a ready mode of computing the number of survivors at a 
given age, as required by the supposed law of the divisors ; but if 
we proceed to compute by it the expectation of life, or the value of 
an annuity, it leads, in the simplest cases, to a transcendental 
quantity, which has long served for the amusement or for the 
torment of the most refined mathematicians, under the name of a 
logologarithmic integral, without having been rendered the more 
manageable by all their elaborate investigations. 

5. Still less would it be practicable to make any use of an addi- 
tional exponential term, which might be made to express with great 
accuracy the decreasing mortality of early infancy and childhood. A 
difficulty nearly similar occurs also in computing from an expression 
which I had deduced from the equable variation of the value of an 
annuity under certain circumstances; a property which I have lately 
employed, as you will recollect, for facilitating the valuation of out- 
standing policies for insurance. This formula for the decrement was 

, which leads to the same hyperlogarithmic series as the ex- 

ponential hypothesis. 

6. We may form a correct conception of the character of the 
exponential hypothesis by laying down, in the diagram of my paper 
in the Transactions, the numbers of the table that I have published 
in my letter to Mr. Morgan, taking f of the quinquennial differences 
for the comparative annual mortality : and it will be found that the 
curve thus obtained, approaches, in its general appearance, sur- 
prisingly near to that of the Carlisle table, and considerably re 
sembles the curves of Deparcieux and of Finlaison, especially 
between the ages of 40 and 80. 

344 Practical Comparison of 

7. But something much more simple than this is required for 
practical purposes ; that is, if we attempt to apply a formula to the 
detail of our computations ; and we may exhibit the basis of such 
a formula to the eye by drawing a straight line from the Age to 
the highest point of the Carlisle curve, and continuing it to the age 
85 or 90 ; and it will be obvious, from inspection, that a triangle 
like this approaches much nearer, between 10 and 80, to the cha- 
racter of all the rapidly ascending lines of Carlisle, Finlaison, and 
Deparcieux, than either Demoivre's horizontal line, or the slightly 
irregular curve of Northampton ; and, from the employment of the 
area of the triangle, the law derived from it may be called the 
quadratic hypothesis. 

8. In other words, we find that many of the modern tables appear 
to indicate, instead of a uniform decrement of life throughout the 
full period of vitality, a decrement nearly proportional to the age 
itself, and the quadratic hypothesis carries to its greatest possible 
extent the exaggeration of the climacteric age, as I have before 
denominated the age of the greatest mortality, which seems to have 
been actually creeping upwards for the last century, though less 
rapidly than has sometimes been supposed. Deparcieux made it 
73, the Carlisle table 74, Mr. Finlaison 78, and Mr. Babbage's 
reduction of the alleged mortality of the Equitable Office 82, though 
my late computation upon the exponential hypothesis, derived from a 
corrected report, makes it only about 75. Now, the triangle of the 
quadratic hypothesis rises highest at its termination, and makes the 
supposed climacteric the year of unavoidable death to those who 
attain it. This is a peculiarity not very credible as a correct state- 
ment of a matter of fact, though it requires little or no correction 
when applied to the generality of results like those of the Carlisle 
tables ; and, in other cases, its imperfections may probably be 
remedied without difficulty. On the other hand, the true climacteric 
of nature, as well as that of the geometrical hypothesis, is the year 
of birth, while in the arithmetical hypothesis there is no climacteric 
at any age. The mortahty of London in 1815, and the Northamp- 
ton table, approach to the arithmetical hypothesis as having no 
strongly marked climacteric after the year of birth, though they have 

different Tables of Mortality. 345 

each a maximum about the middle of the whole range of life. The 
abridged formula, which I suggested in my former letter to you, was 
368 + 10a; for the decrement of life, which is a combination of 
the arithmetical and quadratic hypotheses in equal proportions at 
the age of about 37, and expresses, as it was intended to do, a 
mean mortality between the old and the new observations ; but it is 
more convenient to keep them separate in computation. 

9. I shall now proceed to compare, with the different tables of 
Morgan, Milne, and others, the results of the arithmetical hypothesis, 


as expressed by 5 = 1 — — ; and those of the formula s rr 1 — — , 
c cc 

which is the quadratic hypothesis ; s being the comparative number 
of survivors at the age ar, and c a constant quantity, which may be 
varied at pleasure from 80 to 100. 

10. The first point of comparison is the annual mortality of the 
arithmetical hypothesis with that of the tables of Northampton, 
and the bills of mortality of London. 

A. ^7i7maZ mortality approaching to — = .0115. 



Northampton x.015. 

London, 1815, x 





























11. With the decrements of the quadratic hypothesis, we may 
compare those of the tables of Deparcieux and of Carlisle, and 
those which I have lately computed from the supposed experience 
of the Equitable Office. 

346 Practical Comparison of 

B. Annual mortality approaching to -^ = — A?, or Zl-f = , 

cc X cc 

A ^* T^ • ^* /-. T 1 As Equitable 

Age X, — Deparcieiix. — Carhsle. — Wu a/t 

10 (5.8) (2.9) 

20 (2.6) 2.2 

30 (1.8) 1.9 

40 1.2 1.7 1.3 

50 1.2 1.2 1.9 

^0 1.6 2.0* 2.7 

70 1.6* 1.8 3.3* 

80 1.4 1.4 8.0 

90 (.3) (.4) 1.8 

The precise value of c is here disregarded, but it may be observed 
that it is nearly constant in each column towards the middle of life, 
and that it must be perfectly so for some time about the maximum, 
which is 60 or 70. The agreement is, however, less clearly seen in 
this comparison than by means of the diagram ; the effect of the 
discordances and irregularities of observation being here most 
strongly marked, and disappearing as we pursue the computations 
further. The Northampton table, treated in this manner, gives a 
series of numbers always diminishing. 

12. The whole number of the living at each age, exhibited in any 
tables, is computed from the annual decrements ; and this number 
is next to be compared with the two hypotheses, omitting the years 
of infancy. 

C. Number living, compared with .9 = 1 — 

■ --~-.-07 - 


Age a?. 






























different Tables of Mortality. 347 


























































D. Living compared with s = 1 — — . 


Deparc. Carlisle. Eq. Offi, 

Agear. c=87 c=90 c=93 









It is obvious that the formulas approach, in both these com- 
parisons, much nearer to the tables than in A and B. The column 
of Deparcieux is best represented by the divisor 87, at least from 
25 to 80, and the same is true of the Carlisle table, except just 
about 60 ; while the supposed experience of the Equitable Office, 
after 40, agrees best with the divisor 90, or even 93. 

13. The expectation of life, or the value of a life annuity without 
interest, is next to be determined for each hypothesis. The fluxion 
of the expectation is evidently equal to the fluxion of the age, mul- 
tiplied by the chance of surviving to that age, which is expressed 

by the quotient of the survivors, — , supposing k to be the initial 


number of the living at the given age, and the fluxion of the ex- 
pectation is-LdcF, that is, {\-±\'h or A - —\ —, ac- 
Ic \^ c y fc \ cc y fC 

cording to the hypothesis to be employed, and the fluents are 

and — — respectively, takino- the values from 

k 2ck k 3cck 

s =Ar or a? = q, the given age, to j? = c, the extreme period of life 

assumed in the hypothesis. 


14. Now, in the arithmetical hypothesis for — — , we have 

^* k 2ck 

-i- — -ii_ and — — , the difference beinff_( c — — — o 

k 2ck k 2ck "^ k\ 2 ^ 

+ ^^=££z5^i±Ii=(ili>!. But;t=l-X = £Zi,and 
2c/ 2ck 2ck c c 

the expectation e becomes = 2llJL , as is well known. 

348 Practical Comparison of 

15. In the quadratic hypothesis, the two values of the fluent are 

-^ — -1 — , and — — , the difference being ~" ^ ^"^^ 

k Seek k Seek Seek 

= e : hut A; = 1 — iJ., cck:::^ec — ^7, and cekq =: ceq — q^; whence 

__ 2c^-'2c^q — c^kq __ 2ec . _ \ _ q _ 2cc c — q _ 7 __ 

Seek Seek 3 3 ee^qq "s" 

2ec _q _ c-q 2e + q ^^^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^ ^^__^^ ^^ 

3(c + g) 3 3 c + q 3 


E. Expeelations, compared with e = 43.5 — — q 





38. 5 


























2(?c o 

F. Expeetatiom, compared with e r= — X. . 

Age q. e, c =: 87, Deparcieux. e\c = 90. * Carh'sle. 

"b"- ^' 
























































different Tables ofMortalify. 349 

It appears, from this comparison, that we approach very near to 
the expectation of life at Carlisle, by taking the mean of e and e ', 
or by making o = 88. 5 : and from 10 to 70 the formula appears to 
represent the mortality more correctly than the tables, which are 
extremely irregular in their differences^ probably on account of the 
very small population on which the observations were made. 

16. The only remaining determination to be considered, that is 
exempt from the effect of interest, is that of the probability of sur- 
vivorship between two live j ; a probability which is made up of the 
sum of the probabilities of survivorship for every year, or every 
portion of a year, throughout the full range of the life of the eldest; 
that is, the probability that the one will die within the element of time 
considered, while the other survives : so that the fluxion of the pro- 

s ds' 

babihty is : k being the number surviving at the age of the 

k k' 

eldest, qy and k' at that of the youngest, while s and / represent the 

variable number of survivors. 

17. In the arithmetical hypothesis we have constantly ds= — _f , 


and the fluxion of this probability is — . — .; which is equal to the 

k ck 

fluxion of the expectation e, divided by ck\ and the fluent being 

taken between the same limits x = q and j; = c in both cases, it 

follows that—- is, in this hypothesis, the value of the probability 

that the younger life will fail first; and, since e'=: jL, (14) and 

A:' = 1 — _2_ , we have — ::^ — : a. very simple consequence of 
c ck' 2e 

this hypothesis, which appears hitherto to have escaped observation. 

The PROBABILITY, therefore, that the younger of two lives 


it is obvious that by taking the several expectations as directly 
computed from the tables, this determination may be extended, as 
a good approximation, to the utmost limits of the observations. 
OCT.— DEC. 1828. 2 B 

3j30 Practical Comparison of 


IS of survivorship. 

, compared with ir 











40, 50 




70, 80 




10, 50 












18. In the quadratic hypothesis, s being 1 — £_, we have ds = 


2x 2x 

A- — d^, and d.r is the fluxion of the probabiHty that a 

cc kcc 

person of the supposed age will die at a certain time, which, for 

the age of the younger x — p, taking k' for A:, becomes 2 — ZX d^r, 


to be multiplied by — , the probability that the elder will 



survive, that is, by — (1 — -^ j : the product i 

k \ cc / cckk' 

\ cc cc / kk' \ 2cc cc 

4- -=- — , which taken from x :rz to a; r=: cr, becomes 

4c4 3c4 ^ 

—{L - Z- - i_ + Z_ - Jl- + ?1 + .JL - 'Pf\' 
M'\2 c 4 3c 2cc cc 40-* 3cV' 

that is, putting-^ = «, and-i- =. q, it ^ ( — — — «, 

c c M' \ 4 3 

- 4-9% + p> q. + T^'' -■F^'^O* 

H. Probabilities of survivorship, compared with the quadratic 

Ages. IT. Carlisle. — '■ — C. North. 


30,60 .172 .158 .209 (.230) 

40,80 .060 .074 .100 (.102) 

The ages are here assumed very distant, in order to compare 

different Tables of Mortality, 351 

the extreme cases; otherwise the agreement would have been much 
more accurate : but it is obvious that the formula comes far nearer 
to the direct computation from the Carlisle tables than the value 
derived from the Northampton tables. 

19. We are now to examine the consequences of the two hypo- 
theses in cases which require the consideration of interest or dis- 
count, to be combined with that of the contingency of survivorship 
at each step. In order to represent such cases, we must multiply, 
as is well.known, the fluxion of the contingency of payment by the 
power r*, or rather r*~', for the value as referred to the age g, r 
being the present value of a unit payable at the end of a year : 

for instance , if we reckon at 4 per cent, compound interest. 


But it must be remembered that in this mathematical sense of 

compound interest, the interest of ^100 for a quarter of a year 

is no more d^l, at 4 per cent., than it is ^16 for 4 years ; and if we 

wish to reckon at the rate of £ for a day, we must neces- 

365.25 ^ 

sarily make the interest something more than £4: for a year. In 

almost all cases occurring in practice, the difference of the two 

mode§ of considering the interest is half a year's purchase of an 

annuity, payable annually : but sometimes, for an annuity of a very 

short duration, a further correction may be required : the correction 

is, however, in all cases, very easily computed, and generally 

by taking the fluent half a period later, both at the beginning and 

at the end of the term. 

20. The present value of an annuity on a single life may, there- 
fore, be represented by— / r*~'-f-dj7, since dj? is negative; that is, 

J k 

in the arithmetical hypothesis — / L — (\ — jLjdjr= — / 

a;dj?; and the fluent must be taken as usual from x = 


c to 07 =: ^. 

21. The general theorem for fluents of this form is fa* j?" Ax 
._ ^ /^ _ nx--' 7i(m--lK-^ , 7i(y^-l) (n-2) x"'' 

"^ hla \ hla hVa hVa 


352 Praciical Comparison of 

+ . . . V or putting -I— = X, = - Xa" {x" + Xnx"-^ + 
/ h\a 

XV (/I— 1) 0?""^ + . . .) whence the present fluent becomes 

X Xr*~' 

+ — r*~' — , {x + X), X being here positive, because a 

k ck 

is less than unity, and putting q and c successively for :r, we have 

^-4(, + X) = 4A-X- A)=X-^ and 
k ck k \ c c J ck 

h.r'-'^ - —r'-'' (c + X) = - ^ r'-», the difference being 
k ck ck 

X — — (1 — r""^) r= A , the present value of the annuity : and 

at 4 per cent, we have X = 25.497,\X=: 650, and if-— = .0115, 


the formula becomes A = 25.497 — (I - r'-'^) ; the re- 

k ^ 

suits of which agree sufficiently well with the Northampton table. 
I. Annuities at 4 per cent, upon the arithmetical hypothesis. 



Daily payments. 


Annual payments. 


North, tables. 







+ .02 





— .03 





+ .50 




















22. In the quadratic hypothesis, the fluxion is — /r''"' — d a: = 


- /?•--« ^ + /r'-« J^~ do; and the fluent — r^-^ - A. r'-« 
k cck k cck 

(x^ + 2\x + 2 X^) which from a* = g to a? r= c affords us 


~ _^ {q^ + 2\q + 2X«) - —r'-' + jL^r'-' (cc+ 2\c 
cck k cck 

+ 2VX) =A A _ 2i - i:^- ^ + ,-. r!i + 3^1 Y 

k \ cc cc cc L c cc A J 

different Tables of Mortality. 353 

or, since A=l_2i, A=X_1 (3hL. + ^ - r-* 
a k \ CO cc 

— + I j: that is, at 4 per cent, and taking c = 88.5, and 

c cc J/ 

JL = .0113, X being == 25.497, XX = 650, and ~ = .^8812, 

A = 25.497 - 2.(4.233 + 'I66q - 18. 923 r*"')- 

K. Annuities at 4 per cent, from the quadratic hypothesis. 



Daily payments. 


Annual payments. 


Carlisle tables. 








+ .07 















+ .51 





+ .19 






Mean — .04 
ft is obvious that a mean error so small and so subdivided is 
as likely to belong, in great measure, to the observations as to the 

23. It was my intention to proceed, in a similar manner, through 
the computations of annuities on two joint lives, and of the con- 
tingent reversions of survivorships : but the accuracy of the pro- 
posed formulas appears to be already abundantly demonstrated by 
the two last comparisons, and I shall confine myself, for the present, 
to the great remaining problem of three joint lives^ the facilitation 
of which would be really a step of practical importance, even if we 
allow.ed the accuracy of the existing tables, which have been the 
most extensively employed for calculations of this kind. 

24. The age of the eldest of three lives being ar, and the ages of 
the two younger x — p' and x — p'^ the initial values of s, s', and 
s'' being k, k\ and A/' respectively, when a; = ^; the probability 
of the survivorship of the whole three, for any other values of a:, 

will be — — -, and the fluxion of the present value of the annuity 
kkk' • 

354 Practical Comparison of 

will be ii^ r'-^ dr. Now, 5 = 1 - ^, s' ^ 1 - ^fZ^). , 
kkk cc CO 

and s/' :=. \ — .^: ^-J- , or neglecting c, which always accom- 


panies x and p^ till the end of the computation, s' r:^ s + 2j!?'',r — p'p\ 
and s'^ = s + 2j9"a; •— pf" \ whence ss' =ss + 2p'a;s — jp^p'.s, and 
ssV = s* + 2/a^s^ - p'^V + "^pxi + 4j9'j9Vs -- 2p'p'p''ocs - 

y^v - 2p'py'xs + p'p'pVs = s« - (j^y + p'y) «' + 

p'p'p"p^fs + 2 (^' + yO s'.r + V2?'^s^' - 2j9'p" {p' + p") s^. 

25. Hence it appears that this contingency comprehends that 
which belongs to the value of three equal joint lives, as well as those 
which relate to one life and to two, these latter being also compli- 
cated with the expression of the age and of its square : and it is 
obvious that the result may be reduced to the form kk'k"A = Q — 
ipV + pV) ^ + p'p'pYQ'' + 2(p' + p") Q'f + Ap'p'^Q'"'-^ 
2p'p" (:p' -i-p") (^"^' '. all the quantities Q. . . being dependent on 
the oldest life only, and capable of being expressed in a table by as 
many single numbers for each age, to be afterwards combined 
according to the variations of the younger lives, as here expressed by 
the differences. The first three numbers might be readily obtained 
according to any given tables of observations from the tables of the 
values of ecpial joint lives already in existence, or they may be com- 
puted with the rest, from the formulas : the last of all is also sub- 
servient to the calculation of the value of survivorships. 

26. In the first place, for the quantity Q, belonging to three equal 
lives, we have -/sV^-Mjt = — /r^-^do; (1 - 3^^ + ^x^ - x^) ~ 
^r'^ (1 — 3 {x^ + "l-hx + 2a^) + 3 (:i-4 + 4Aa?3 -f 12aV + 24^3^;* + 
24X'') - {3p + 6^a;5 + 30aV -f \2^>?x? + 360A''a.-' + VZ^-k^'x + 
720^^) ; which, taken from x t^:: q to a? = c, becomes A (1 — 3 
(g* + 2^9 + 2ax) + 3 ((?" + 4Ag3 + i2aV + ^^^^^Q + 24x'») - 
(g« + 6xq^ + 30A«g4 + l20xY + seOx'^q^ + 120\'q + 720^^) - 
r'-' [1 -3 (1 + 2a -1- 2xx) + 3 (1 + 4a + 12a' + 24a^ + 24aO - 
(1 + 6a + 30a* + 120A3 + 360A4 + 720a5 + 720a*')]) = Q : the 
numbers A and g, wherever they occur after the first A, being under- 
stood as divided by c. . 

different Tables of Mortality, 855 

!Sl7. The second quantity is Q' e= — /r'-« ««dx, is being = 1 - 
2 ff + fl , or 1 - 2a:a: + or* ; which gives the fluent Xr'-» (1 —2 

(a;* + 2aj? + 2^^) + a:< + 4\r» + 12xV + 24x'a;+24x*) : and this 
from a? = g to a: =: c is ^ (1 - 2<f — 4Agf — 4^x + g* + 4^5^ + 
12aV + 24x'g + 24a* — r'-' [1 - 2 — 4x - 4ax + 1 + 4a + 
12a* + 24a'' + 24a*]) = Q' : restoring c in its place. 

28. For Q' we have — fr^'^sAx, as in the case of a simple 
annuity (22), = Ar*-* (1 - jc' - 2at - 2a«) giving A (1 - 7* — 
2Ag - 2AA + f '-^ (2a + 2A«) = A (A; - 2A5 - 2AA + 2Ar'^-' 


29. In the next place Q'" =: - fr'-'^ssxdiX r= ^ fr'"'^ {xdix - 
%x^Ax + a;Mx) = Ar'"' (jf + A - 2 (a;^ + 3Aa?' + Qk\v + G>?) + 
x* + 5Aa;* + 20AV + 60aV + 120A*a? + 120a*) ; which, from x:=iq 
to x=c, gives A (g + A - 2(g' + SAg^ + 6X«g + 6a^) + 
^5 + 5xg* + 20aY + 60aY + 120A*qf + 120A« - j-^"' [1 + a - 
2 ( 1 + 3a + 6a« + 6a^) + 1 + 5a + 20a« + 60a^ + 120a* + 

30. For Q"", derived from sx\ we have — /r*"' (a;Ma? - j?*dar) = 
xr*-* (x« + 2Aa; + 2aa - [a;* + 4Aa;« + 12aV + 24A^jr + 24a*]) ; 
and this, when corrected, becomes A (jf + 2'Kq + 2aa — 5* — 4A9' — 
12aV - 24a'9 - 24X* - r'-' [1 + 2a + 2aa — I - 4a - 
12a« - 24'A - 24a*]. 

31. Lastly, for q['"f, from sx, we have - fr'"' {x — x^) dx = 
Ar*^ (a? 4- A - (a:* + 3Aa;' + 6A'a; + 6a'), which becomes \ (q + 
X - (9« + 3\q^ + 6\\ + 6\») — r<^« (1 + X- - [1 + 3\ + 

32. Taking, for a single example, the value of three joint lives of 
30, at five per cent., we have ^ = 80, J- = . 01 13, ^ = . 339, \ = 

20. 5, A = . 23165, and r""' = . 0576. By salstituting these 

quantities in the expression _ = A, we have the value 11 .37. 

356 Practical Comparison of 

L. Three joint lives, at 5 per cent., compared with the Carlisle 

Common age. Daily payments. Annual payments. Carlisle tables. North, tables. 

30 11.37 10.87 10.82 (8.50) 

33. For the arithmetical hypothesis, the computation becomes still 
more simple, and requires no auxiliary tables beyond those which 
are universally known. The contingency for the three joint lives 

here becomes ^ \P '^ V ) "^ PP — '_ and the value, taking 

A', A''', A'^' for the existing tabular values of 1, 2, and 3 lives at the 

age of the eldest^ iLAi- ^L2 £-£. — ^^'andp" being 

rC rC 

the excess of the elder above the two younger respectively, divided 
by c : we might also add half a year to the tabular numbers, and 
deduct it from the final result, if necessary. 

34. The same simplification is applicable to two joint lives, the 

s s 1) n s 

contingency becoming — . — r= — s (s + i_) := ss + ~J- — . 
k k' kK c kh! 

and the values — -_ + — 

k' ck' 

M. Two joint lives, at 4 per cent., from the equal lives. 


Approximation, N. T. 

Particular tables. 










Three joint \\\es, 

at 4 per cent., from the equal lives. 


Approximation, N. T. 

Morgan, Table VI. 

30, 20, 10 



.50, 40, 30 



70, 60, 50 



different Tables of Mortality, 357 

35. You will perceive, my dear Sir, that these examples sufficiently 
establish the accuracy of my method of computing, without imme- 
diate reference to tables, during the most important portions of life ; 
and if it be found sufficient, it must be allowed to possess a de- 
cided superiority, in the facility with which any imaginable change 
in the value of life is introduced into the computation. This modi- 
fication is very readily eJBTected by changing the constant quantity 
c in either mode of computation, or by combining the results ob- 
tained for any particular case from both methods, in such a man- 
ner and in such proportions as may be thought most desirable. 
But it is obvious that, in making these combinations, there must 
still be ample scope for the exercise of sound judgment and dis- 
cretion, aided always by personal experience and cautious re- 

I am, my dear Sir, 

Yours most sincerely, 

* * ♦ * 

fVater/oo Place, 17 Nov. 1828. 

Postscript. The quadratic hypothesis may easily be accommo- 
dated to any table like my own, of which the decrements are nearly 
expressed by the mixed formula 368 -f lOx, considering the fluents 
between the given age and the time of total extinction only: and 
the same formulas will comprehend the arithmetical hypothesis as 
a particular case. 


A General Description of Lake Erie, Communicated by 
Jdhh L Bigsby, M.D., &c. &c. 


The following pages will present a rapid view of the position 
and dimensions of Lake Erie, and of the leading features of its 
vicinity. The course of the heights surrounding its tributary 
streams are next described ; and then the shores, islands, and a 
few of the rivers of this body of water. For topographical and 
statistical details, not necessary to geological description, the 
reader may consult with advantage the writings of Bouchette*, 
Howisonf, GourlayJ, Darby§, and Kilbourne [|. 

Lake Erie has few of the fascinations of scenery to boast of, 
apart from the large mass of waters it exhibits — in tranquillity, 
or in motion, sometimes most vehement. It is only at its west 
end that it is adorned by islands. The morasses, earthy 
scaurs, or gentle uplands of its coasts, afg only remarkable for 
their large walnut and buttonwood trees, which, in a dense 
umbrageous belt, shut out all view of the interior from the tra- 
veller on the lake, except at the partial clearances. 

Neither is the vicinity of this lake agreeable as a residence, 
iii the western half, at least in the summer. The heat then, 
although not thermometrically extreme, is peculiarly oppres- 
sive, relaxing, and long continued. The steaming swamps^, 
which are almost universal, are full of putrifying substances, 
occasioning the bilious remittents there so prevalent. The 

* Topography of the Canadas. t Sketches of Upper Canada. 

% Statistical Account of Upper Canada. 
§ Tour from New York to Detroit. || Gazetteer of Ohio. 

% Clearances, by affording a free access of the air to swamps, greatly 
diminish their size. It has been found also, in Ohio, that the progress of 
cultivation tends, at the same time, to increase the dimensions of the 
rivers. Thus, Todd's Fork of the Little Miami River was formerly often 
dry in the summer, but is never so now ; and the same has taken place 
with Kinnickinnick, in the County of Pickaway. Attention has been 
drawn to these subjects by the frequent want of water for mills and navi- 
gation.— Kilbournk. 

General Description of Lake Erie, 359 

tvater in common use is heated, and ill tasted. Moskitoes, 
sand, and black flies abound, and, extending their attacks to 
the domestic animals, aided by a fly nearly an inch long, almost 
drive them distracted. There are circumstances also, in social 
life, which render this region a disagreeable residence, but 
which are gradually disappearing. Its extreme fertility, the 
moderate sum of its annual heat, and its facilities of commu- 
nication with other countries, will, in progress of time, render it 
the seat of a dense population, and a principal granary of the 
western continent. Wheat, maize, and tobacco, are cultivated 
with equal success. The returns of the agriculturist are large, 
secure, and of excellent quality. The last-named article has 
been grown in considerable quantity about the river Detroit, 
near the head of the lake, and favoured, in a small remission of 
duty, by the British Government, is sent to England, after 
having undergone an inland carriage, to Quebec^ of 814 miles. 
Salt springs exist in almost every township, accompanied, in 
one or two cases, by large beds of gypsum. Bog iron ore is 
common on the north-east side of the lake, and is worked. 
The water communications of these countries are astonishingly 
easy. Canoes can go from Quebec to the Rocky Mountains, 
to the Arctic Circle, or to the Mexican Gulf, without a portage 
longer than four miles; and the traveller shall arrive at his 
journey's end as fresh and as safely as from an English tour of 
pleasure. It is common for the Erie steam-boat to take goods 
and passengers from Buffaloe, to Green Bay and Chicago, in 
Lake Michigan, a distance of nearly 900 miles, touching, at 
the same time, at many intermediate ports. In about three 
years, in addition to the canal connecting Lake Erie with tide- 
water in the Hudson, another will be excavated across the 
southern dividing ridge, to communicate with the Ohio. Near 
its place of junction with this river, a canal from the Atlantic, 
across the Alleghanies, will enter the Ohio. Lake Erie will 
then also have a steady line of water transport to Baltirnore, on 
the Chesapeake, and New Orleans, on the Mississippi. The 
surveys, preparatory to these projects, have been in execution 
for two years; there is no doubt of their practicability. 

I cannot even hazard a conjecture as to the number of inha- 
bitants around Lake Erie, They are numerous, and daily 

360 General Description of Lake Erie. 

augmenting; but with incomparably greater rapidity on the 
south side of the lake, distributed between the States of New 
York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Ohio, which occupies the 
largest portion, in 1800, had 45,000 inhabitants; in 1810, 
250,760, and, in 1820, 581,434. At present, it cannot have 
less than 750,000 inhabitants, and there is ample room for 
more. There are few or no Indians on the north borders 
of the lake. The Mohawks are placed high up the river 
Ouse, and the Hurons, from four to ten miles up the river 

The winds are generally either up or down the lake, and in 
summer they are in the former direction for two-thirds of the 
time. In the middle of this season they are commonly mild, 
but occasionally in perfect tornadoes, accompanied with tre- 
mendous lightning and heavy rain. The gales begin in October, 
and are both violent and dangerous. Many lives are lost 
annually. The winters are mild and short. The inhabitants 
do not reckon on the ground being covered by snow more than 
three or four months. They turn their cattle into the woods 
in March and April, but the lake remains full of floating ice 
until May. On the 12th of May, 1821, the steam-boat could 
not proceed on account of the ice. From an adjacent eminence, 
the lake was seen to be covered with it in one compact mass, 
as far as the eye could range. As might be expected, remittent 
and intermittent fevers are very prevalent in the autumn. The 
febrile action rises high, and there is usually a topical affection 
conjoined : to this the stimulating diet and frequent use of 
spirituous liquors, and exposure to heat, mainly conduce. In 
the year 1819, these diseases raged with particular violence. 
The British and American Boundary Commissioners, consisting 
of thirty-five individuals, were then encamped among the small 
islands at the west end of the lake. Scarcely one escaped an 
attack of remittent fever. In three instances it proved fatal, 
one of which was the British commissioner, Mr. Ogilvy, a man 
of great worth, activity, and talent. Most of the others reco- 
vered with difficulty, and remained, during the whole of the 
following winter, in a sickly state. The disease made its 
appearance in September. During the years 1820 and 1821, 
the united commissions pursued their surveys at the west end, 

General Description of Lake Erie. 361 

of the lake, and along the water communication between Lakes 
Erie and Huron. Their officers and men were then attacked 
bj' mild intermittents, and, in one case, a severe remittent. 


Lake Erie is placed on the north side of the hilly country 
giving rise to the principal tributaries of the Ohio, and at the 
south edge of the fertile peninsula included by the waters of 
Lakes Huron, St. Clair, Erie, Ontario, and Simcoe. 

The part of Lake Erie nearest to Lake Huron is Port Talbot 
(about the middle), and it is 57 miles distant. It is 21 miles 
from Lake Ontario, at Sugar-loaf Hill, and 15 miles from 
Lake St. Clair, at the township of Tilbury East. 

This lake extends (in a narrow, oblong form, and much con- 
tracted at its north-east end) 231 miles from S.W. to N.E., 
according to Bouchette, and from long. 78° 16' to long, 82". 
This estimate agrees closely with data I received from my 
friend, Lieutenant J. Grant, R.N.* Mr. Bouchette adds, that 
Lake Erie has its greatest breadth of 63^ miles (lat 41° 10' — 
42.3) at Port Talbot, and that it is commonly 30 to 40 miles 
broad, but is little more than 20 at Long Point, on the north 
shore, 70 miles from the lower end. 

The distance between Point Pele and its opposite headland 
on the south shore, the peninsula of Sandusky, is very incor- 
rectly represented in the usual maps, which are, indeed, 
inaccurate in every thing respecting the head of the lake. 

Purdy's Map of Cabotia makes it an oblong cul de sac, 
17 miles broad, at the mouth of the Detroit river ; whereas it 
is a short oval, 30 miles in breadth at that spot, and 42| miles 
long, measuring W, by N., from midway between the two 
headlands. He gives 13 miles as the interval between these 
promontories, while it is 25J miles. Mr. Tanner, a skilful 
geographer of Philadelphia, assigns to this last space 36 miles 
in his Map of the State of Ohio ; and Mr. Carey, of the same 
place, makes it 50 miles, in his Maps of the Michigan Terri- 

* According to Mr. G., who was stationed on this lake in 1820, Middle 
Island is 190 miles, by ship's course (nearly direct), from the lower end of 
Lake Erie ; and it is 38^ miles direct from the upper end, by the maps of 
the Commission : thus making a total of 228 i miles. 

362 General Description of Lake Erie, 

tory*. Lieutenant J. Grant, R.N., found its general depth to 
be 15, 18, and 25 fathoms, and in one place only three 
fathoms — bottom sandy. The Canadian shore is bolder than 
the American, which, in some parts, runs out shoal for two 
or three miles. 

Compared with the other lakes, this is shallow. In a gale 
of wind it is rendered turbid, by the sand and mud washed from 
the bottom, as I have myself Avitnessed. The sounding-lead 
frequently brings up clayey mud, into which it sometimes sinks 
entirely. Horizontal rocks now and then form its floor — most 
frequently at the S.W. end of the lake, where reefs and shallows 
are common. The water is always good, some distance into 
the lake ; but in summer, near shore, it is much contaminated 
with animal and vegetable matters in a state of putrefaction. 
In that season, in the middle of the day, the shoal water is 
heated to 90—95° Fahrenheit. 

The height of Lake Erie above the Atlantic Ocean has been 
ascertained to be 565 feet. The barrier which contains it is so 
low, that, were it to rise only six feet, it would inundate; on its 
northern and western borders, several millions of acres, now 
partly occupied by towns^ villages, and farms ; and it is esti- 
mated that a further rise of six or eight feet would precipitate 
a vast flood of waters over the state of Illinois from the south 
end of Michigan ; the great Canadian lakes then discharging 
also into the Mexican Gulf. This last idea originated, I 
believe, with Mr. Stickney, a very intelligent resident on the 
river Maumee. 

This barrier, the height of land surrounding the basin of 
Lake Erie and its rivers, by no means follows the shores of that 
body of water with fidelity — the great departure taking place 
about its S.W. and N.E. extremities. I shall now trace its 
course in a general, but sufficiently accurate, manner ; and, in 
so doing, shall present a rapid sketch of the region in which 
this lake is placed. 

The peninsula which it traverses on the north is an east arm 
of the levels, bordering the south shores of Superior, Michigan, 
and Huron, which are themselves parts of the vast plains of 

* Atlas of the Unitea States, 

General Description of Lake Erie, 363 

the Rocky Mountains, and of the valley of the Mississippi. Jt 
is an undulating tract, declining insensibly from north to south, 
and abounding in low, rich lands, intersected by numerous 
prolonged elevatioqs, too broad to be called ridges, which give 
off on each side, occasionally, large streams belonging to the 
same or to different lakes. These rivers, and their branches, 
frequently pass over raised beds, which subside laterally, with 
more or less rapidity, into mprasses, natural meadows, and 
moist woods. There is an erninence on the River Thames, in 
the township of Westminster, 150 feet high (Gourlay). The 
soil of this region varies, but is chiefly black and often marly 
loam, with patches of sand, and resting on gray, blue, or red 
clay ; as is finely displayed in the deep banks of the river 
Thames, and on the north shore of the lake itself. Its timber 
is of large size, and consists of hickory, maple, oak, button- 
wood, walnut, ash, elm, &c. &c. 

In this sort of country, eastward from the River Detroit as 
far as Port Talbot, this line of heights (so almost nominally) is 
seldom more than ten miles from Lake Erie ; the River Thames, 
a large tributary of the St. Clair, during great part of this space 
being only 13-20 miles from the former lake. The creeks, 
entering this portion of Erie, issue from extensive marshes, and 
in many cases flow sluggishly through prairie lands, scarcely 
raised above the level of the reservoir they seek. From Port 
Talbot, while the north shore of the lake runs east for nearly 
70 miles, the line of head-waters runs N.E., or N.N.E., to 
near Oxford (35 miles from the lake direct), at the upper part 
of the Thames, and from thence passes north for 60 miles. In 
the unexamined country thereabouts, the sources of the Ouse, 
or Grand River, approach streams which discharge, severally, 
into Huron, Simcoe, and Ontario. 

Having swept to the north and east round these, the dividing 
line turns abruptly south, and skirts that river at the distance 
of 5-7 miles to near the mouth of the Ouse — from thence 
bending eastward to the end of the lake : the interval is still 
5-7 miles, and is very marshy. Its elevation here is only suf- 
ficient to determine the course of its streams. 

On the north shore, the eye can discover from the lake only 
a few scrubby heights about Point Abino 3 but on the south 

364 General Description of Lake Erie, 

shore, there is visible, for 110 miles from its east end, a bold 
slope of woods, of smooth and uniform aspect, and divided into 
an upper and lower bank in many places ; the latter being 
separated from the lake by an alluvial level, considerable only 
along its western half and at its extremities. This elevation is, 
perhaps, understated at 600 feet; but at the middle of the 
lake it becomes broken and variable : it, or its immediate vici- 
nity, is the true height of land. At the east end of the lake 
it is 25 miles distant, but from thence westward it approaches 
the lake shore obliquely, and at Portland, 58 miles from the 
River Niagara, it comes within three miles of it, and then fol- 
lows its shores to the village of Erie. In this distance, the 
narrow body of water called Lake Chatanghque, one of the 
sources of the Alleghany (a branch of the Ohio) is only 9 J 
miles from Lake Erie. 

A few miles westward from the disappearance of this emi- 
nence from observers on the lake, •• it enters the state of Ohio, 
near the dividing line of Ashtabula, and Trumbull, and Portage 
counties diagonally. From the S.W. angle of the latter, it 
passes along the north border of Stark and Wayne, and more 
than half that of Richland county. From hence the ridge turns 
S.W. as far as the Maumee River." — (Darby, p. 181, Tour.) 
On the south and west of Lake Erie it does not often appear 
in the actual form of hills, with intervening vales, although they 
are common, as before said, about its middle, but spreads into 
an extensive table land, with torpid streams contained in beds 
elevated above the general surface of the country ; much of 
which is prairie covered with an exuberant herbage. — (Darby.) 

Of the height of land so far traced, Mr. Shriver * has ascer- 
tained the exact elevation in several places — his measurements, 
however, referring to water-courses, and not to the hills which 
may be around them. They have been made most probably 
at the lowest points of the dividing ridge. Four miles south of 
Warren (Trumball county) a swamp on the River Mahoning, 
discharging its waters into Lake Erie and the Ohio, is 342 feet 
above the former, and 35 miles distant by a direct course. — 
(Survey, p. 71.) 

* Surveys for the Chesapeake, Ohio, and Lake Erie Canals, 1824. 

General Description of Lake Erie. 365 

About forty miles S.W. from this, an extensive morass, 
(35 — 40 miles from the lake) pours its waters into the Cuyahoga 
of Cleaveland (L. E.) and the Tuscawara of Ohio. It is 404 
feet above Lake Erie, and has steep hills on its north (Survey, 
p. 76). But the greatest depression is in a cranberry marsh 
about 64 miles to the S.W. of Warren, south of, and near, the 
village of Mecca. It is 337 feet above Lake Erie, and about 
30 miles direct from it (p. 80.) These marshes are not always 
occasioned by their situation, but often arise from the imper- 
vious nature of their substratum, or subsoil, to their being on a 
dead level, or confined by embankments. 

The point of separation of the rivers Maumee and Miami 
(of Ohio) three miles north of Fort Loramie, 98 miles direct 
from Lake Erie, is 399 feet above that lake ; and another de- 
pression, 11 feet lower, has been found, not far from this place. 

From Fort Loramie northward and westward, I have no 
information respecting the course of the dividing ridge. It 
must necessarily be distant from the west end of the lake, as 
the St. Joseph, a large branch of the Maumee, overspreads 
that region for 60 miles toward Lake Michigan. The back 
country between the Maumee and River Detroit, is very low ; 
it is a dense forest interspersed with morass. All the streams 
which are north of, and near, the mouth of the Detroit dis- 
charge into it, except the River Raisin, whose source is remote 
in the west. Between the streams tributary to the lake and 
those of the Detroit, there is of course an elevation, but it is 
imperceptible to the eye, the land being almost all a swamp. 

I now proceed to describe the shores and islands of Lake 
Erie, with a few very general notices of its rivers. 

The margin of the lake is composed of various materials, 
attaining various but moderate elevation. 

From the Detroit River, near its head, to Long Point, 
(about 215 miles) the north shore consists wholly of clay, 
gravel, and sand-banks ; the first being lowest, where I have 
seen them together. Sometimes, as at 16 miles east from the 
above river, and between Points Pele and Landguard, they are 
in scarps 100 and 200 feet high, sinking, however, rapidly in 
the rear. In most cases the height is by no means so great, 
and at the most prominent points, such as Point Pele, is 

OCT.— DEC, 1 828. 2 C 

366 General Description of Lake Erie, 

usually but little above the surface of the lake. From Long 
Point (wholly sand) to the River Niagara, the shore (5 — 30 
feet above the water-level, but still swampy) is defended at the 
outer angles of the indents, by large ledges or floors of lime- 
stone, while beaches of sand, or shingle very much rolled, line 
the inner portions ; backed here and there with red clay, which, 
about five miles east of Grand River, is for a mile and a half 40 
feet high, and supports a great morass, called the ** Cranberry 
Marsh." This is replaced on the east to the end of the lake, 
by mounds and banks of pure sand, which in the western 
half of this interval often extend a mile or more into the 
interior, and sometimes rise 100 — 250 feet high, in confused 
groups^ round backed and conical. The " Sugar- Loaf-Hill," 
20 miles from Fort Erie, is one of these, and overlooks a great 
extent of ponds and swamps ; with here and there a patch of 
ground fit for cultivation. Near the ^ River Niagara the l£|.ke 
for great spaces is floored with rock. 

For the first ten miles along the south shore, from the 
north-east end of the lake, shingle and sand prevail in low 
ridges, which advance 50 or 100 yards into the woods, and are 
based on red clay. From thence to the village of Erie, rocky 
clifis, often 40 feet high, with ledges and shingle beaches 
interspersed, abound, and support the beds of clay, pebbles, and 
sand, mixed with branches of trees, fresh-water Crustacea 
and shells, which constitute the level space under the dividing 
ridge. From the above village to Cleaveland (90 miles) low 
shores and sand banks are often met with, but accompanied 
by occasional ledges of rock. Cleaveland itself stands on 
a lofty scarp of clay and sand at the mouth of the River 
Cuyahoga, which enters the lake from among an assemblage 
of picturesque eminences of those materials. Two miles or 
so west of this town, high calcareous precipices, dipping 
vertically into deep waters, continue alongshore for many 
miles, and are succeeded westward by swamps and shingle 
beaches, from about the Black River to Sandusky; the east 
face of whose peninsula consists of rocky ledges ; as also do 
most of the shores of the neighbouring islands. The island 
named from Point Pel^, not very remote, is a mere swamp, 
with a belt of sand girding its circumference. From Sandusky 

General Description of Lake Erie, 367 

(including its bay) to the mouth of the Detroit River, (by 
Maumee River, &c.) the margin of the lake is almost alto- 
gether a marsh, with here and there a sandy beach and a few 

In the form of its shores, Lake Erie obeys the law common 
to all the lakes of this chain (or parts of lakes) resting on 
secondary or diluvial materials. They describe large and regu- 
lar, but shallow curvatures, unbroken by the multitude of land* 
locked coves and inlets, which beset a coast formed of a 
more ancient order of rocks. There are, in fact, almost no 
harbours in the lake. The headlands, where they do not ter- 
minate in long spits of sand, are often so obtuse as to disappear 
on near approach. The west shores of this lake are distributed 
into these extensive curves ;— on the south side, so great as to 
be only two in number, from Maumee River to Hat Point of 
Sandusky Peninsula, while almost exactly two-thirds of the 
distance between Point Pele and the Detroit (33 miles) is 
taken up by the unvarying concavity of Pigeon Bay, which is, 
indeed, much larger than is represented on the maps at present 
in us^. The river Detroit enters Lake Erie by a very wide 
mouth, but without occasioning a distinct bay. That at the 
mouth of the Maumee River, (24 J miles S.S.W. of the Detroit,) 
the only harbour on the Main between it and Sandusky, is 3J 
miles wide at the mouth, and has two small islands off its 
southern angle, which is called Cedar Point. There are seven 
feet of water at the bar (Darby, p. 203). It is very swampy 
within, and contracts gradually as it meets the river. 

The north shore east of Point Pele, independently of a 
great number of shallow indents, quite open to storms, is divided 
into three chief flexures, by Landguard and Long Points. 
Point Pele is a narrow stripe of marsh and sand, ten miles long, 
in a southerly direction. Close to it, on the. main, is a swamp, 
with a large pond at its centre. The gentle curvature which, 
together with Landguard Point, it contains, is 40 miles across. 
{Furdy^s Cabotia^) The next curve, bounded by Landguard 
and Long Points, is 94 miles across, (Purdy.) It exhibits no 
features of note. Long Point projects eastwards into the lake 
for nearly 20 miles, making an arm that embays a large body 
of water. It is always narrow ; and so much so near its junc« 

2 02 

,368 General Description of Lake Erie, 

tion.with the main, as to allow batteaux to be hauled over, and, 
in fact, when the lake is high, its water flows across in the form 
of a creek. The curve (with a chord of 57 miles) of which it 
is the west angle, is only well marked in this its west end, the 
remainder toward the fort of the lake being almost straight, but 
subdivided as usual. A scrubby height of rock and sand jutting 
into the lake ten miles from Fort Erie, called Point Abino, is 
sometimes used as shelter against a south-west gale. 

Such is the form of the north, or Canadian coast. On the 
south side, about 42 miles easterly of the west end of the lake, 
Sandusky Bay is a great deviation from the usual outline of 
its shores. Its entrance is nearly S.E. from the mouth of the 
River Detroit. I have several times visited it ; but all I know 
of it is best summed up in the following words of Mr. Darby 
(Tour, p. 180, 181) : — " The narrow strip forming Point Penin- 
sula of Sandusky Bay is twenty miles long and two to three 
broad, and ends east by an additional low narrow point two 
miles long, meeting a similar long, low, narrow bar, projecting 
from the main. The last is called Sandy Point ; the other. 
Point Prospect; the entrance being close to Point Sandy. The 
bay is about four miles wide, and so continues almost to its 
head, except at the Narrows, about five miles above the village 
of Sandusky. Its shores are but little raised above the v^rater, 
and are, in some places, flat and marshy." The village of San- 
dusky is on the south-east side of the bay, and near the en- 
trance. It is a miserable cluster of houses facing the water. 
The river Sandusky enters at the west end of the village. 
Another collection of deserted dwellings is about three miles 
below, called Venice. The whole vicinity is peculiarly subject 
to remittent and intermittent fevers of dangerous character. 

From Sandusky Bay eastwards, with the exception of two 
slight inflexions, in which are placed the mouths of the rivers 
Huron and Cuyahoga, the south shore is remarkably straight. 
Ninety miles, however, from the east end, there is a long narrow 
tongue of land, called Presqu'isle, two miles south of the village 
of Erie, which, near its termination, inclines a little toward* 
the main shore, and so forms a fine harbour, assisted by a 
broad bar, which connects the outer end of this low headland 
to the main : it has seven feet water. The village is built on a 

General Description of Lake Erie. 369 

rocky cliflf thirty or forty feet high, and is an improving and 
pretty place. There is another much smaller, but useful in- 
dention, fifty miles to the east, with a bar across its mouth 
drawing seven feet water. The village which it has created is 
called Dunkirk. 

The islands of this lake, excepting two, iare at its southern end. 
They amount to twenty-six including the cluster of five, called 
the Hen and Chickens, three of which are mere rocks. Point 
Pele Island is the largest, being 8| miles long by 4J miles 
in greatest breadth. It is compact, swampy within, and sur- 
rounded by a belt of trees. It is 7 J miles S.W. of Point Pel^, 
and has Middle Island If miles on its south ; the latter being 
oval and two-thirds of a mile long. It is just within the British 
territory, and is 16 miles from the north main, and 10 from the 
south. A mile and two-thirds south of Middle Island is Ship 
Island, a mere rock, just within the jurisdiction of the United 
States. Cunningham Island 3^ miles N.E. from Sandusky 
Peninsula, is 3^ miles long, by If in greatest breadth. North 
of Hat Point (the most northerly part of the Peninsula) is a 
groupe of nine islands, called the " Bass," '' George," or •' Put- 
in-Bay Islands" — valuable for the excellent anchorage and 
shelter they afford. Three of them are much larger than the 
others, and lie south and north of each other, and are therefore 
named in the Boundary Commission, *' south, middle, and north" 
Bass Islands. The first is 2f miles from Hat Point, and is 4 
miles long, by 1^, where broadest ; but it is often very narrow. 
Distant from this, only half a mile, the Middle Bass, is 2|- miles 
long, by a mile in greatest breadth, but its shape is also very 
irregular. Not quite a mile from the Middle Bass, the northern 
island of the three is a mile and three-quarters by one mile 

Moss Island, of this groupe, is to be noticed for its large de- 
posit of strontian. It is 1000 yards long and a mile west of the 
South Bass. 

Of the detached islets, the " Eastern," *♦ Middle," and 
** Western Sisters," are useful in stress of weather; the East- 
ern Sisters are two in number, each 500 yards long or there- 
abouts, and 6J miles N. by W. from the North Bass. The 
Middle Sister is half a mile long, and 12^ miles N.W, from 

370 Oerieral Description of Lake EHe. 

the same island ; and the Western Sister is 14 miles west from 
it, and two-thirds of a mile long*. 

Excepting Point Peld Island, and the Eastern Sisters^ these 
islands are high and rocky. They are uninhabited, except by 
runaway slaves, or outlaws for a season. 

Of the two islands mentioned as being in the eastern part of 
the lake, one is in the bay formed by Long and Turkey Point, 
near Point Pottohawk : it is small. The other is, as far as I 
can learn, unnoticed by any chart or by any writer. It is close 
to the north shore two and a half to three miles east of the 
Ouse or Grand River, and is called " Gull Island." It is low, 
floored on limestone, indifferently wooded, and about one-third 
of a mile long. 

Of the rivers entering Lake Erie, the Detroit (to be described 
elsewhere) is the largest. On the north shore, from this river 
to Orfordness, the vicinity of the Thames and of St. Clair ren- 
ders them few and of insignificant size. From Orfordness they 
continue to be small as far as Catfish and other creeks, east of 
Port Talbot ; the interval between the Thames and Lake Erie 
being there much increased. Otter Creek is of considerable 
magnitude, and navigable for 40 miles by boats of 20 tons bur- 
then {Gourlay^s Reports) ; but its utility is diminished by the ex- 
treme shallowness of its mouth. The largest river on the north 
shore, next to the Detroit, is the Ouse, 35 miles from the north-" 
east end of the lake. The British have a naval establishment 
at its mouth, but now consisting of log houses for a few soldiers 
and sailors, and the rotting hulls of one or two schooners. It 
discharges a reddish water, and is about 200 yards wide at its 
mouth, with a sand-bar of five feet water. It rises 80 or 90 
miles (direct) in the north, in unsurveyed woods, and in the re- 
mote township of Garafraxa, where it is not far from the streams 
belonging to Lake Simcoe. The country it passes through is 
low, but fertile in the extreme, and possesses, sixty miles from 
the lake, some flourishing settlements. 

The principal rivers of the south shore are the Maumee, San- 
dusky, Cuyahoga, Grand River, and Buffaloe Creek. As they 
are not involved in geological details, and as they have been 

* These admeasurements are taken from the maps of the British and 
American Boundary Commission. 

General Description of Lake Erie, 371 

described repeatedly, I refer to the map for their position and 
length, and for further details to Kilbourne*s Gazetteer. I 
may here mention that all the rivers of Lake Erie have sand- 
bars at their mouths, preventing their being used as harbours for 
vessels of considerable burthen. 


Extensive deposits of loose transported materials almost 
altogether cover the fixed rocks of Lake Erie. The sugges- 
tions thence arising have been already noticed in a general 
view of the geology of the Canadas, transmitted to the Geolo- 
gical Society. I shall now, in a very imperfect manner, 
state their position and nature. 

On the south' shore. Professor Dewey * reports the highest of 
the two banks or ridges, visible from the lake, to be composed, 
in many parts, of the same substances as the present margin — 
that is, of sand and gravel. The flat country at the foot of the 
slope is every where (as at Dunkirk, Presqu'isle, Cleaveland, 
&c.) composed of rich loam, with occasional and large patches 
of sand, clay, and gravel. Professor Dewey saw a well in the 
township of Weightsburgh, exhibiting the following appearances. 
" From the top of the ground, the first three feet is a sandy 
loam, then a coarse gravel, and then a layer of small stones of 
the same kind, which we find on the present lake shore : these 
three layers make about five feet. Beneath these are suc- 
cessive strata of the same kind, to the bottom of the well, 
which is about 20 feet from the surface. At the bottom of the 
well, in the coarse gravel, and in a spring or rather subterra- 
nean brook, there was found a piece of (apparently) bass-wood, 
between two and three feet long, and two or three inches in 
diameter. It was evidently a limb of a trunk, which is now 
buried in the pebbles and gravel below : its direction was per- 
pendicular, and its texture so little impaired that it was with 
difficulty broken off. Lobster-shells y cockle-shells, and clam- 
shells, of the same appearance, are found this depth from the 
surface, as are now found on the lake shore." 

The deep channels of the rivers entering Lake Erie from the 

♦ Mitchell's edition of Cuvier's Theory of the Earth, p. 417. 

372 . General Description of Lake Erie, 

south, are usually cut through beds of water-worn matters, 
which are particularly large about the Huron. Mr. Caleb At- 
water [Silliman' s Journal, vol. ii., p. 245) mentions the 
discovery of a mammoth's tooth on the beach of Lake Erie, 
in the neighbourhood of this river — of another at Dayton, in 
the Great Miami, and a third on the Scioto rivers. Mr. Keating* 
represents the country west of this lake to be covered with gra- 
nitic boulders, and the soil, likewise, to be studded with pebbles. 
In Michigan territory and Ohio, and especially on the shores 
of the Detroit river, and of Lake Erie near the Vermilion 
river, cinnabar occurs in the form of a red and black sand, but 
it is usually more abundant in banks of fine ferruginous clay. 
Near the mouth of Vermilion River, it is in the form of a very 
fine red powder, or in grains and small masses, disseminated in 
clay. It yields, by distillation, about 60 per cent, of mercury j. 
I have collected sand, on the north-west shores of Lake Erie, 
and near the Grand River, which I conceived to be similar 
to that of Mr. Stickney ; but the packages containing it are 

I have already observed that the north coast of this lake, 
from the river Detroit to Long Point, according to Colonel 
Hawkins (68th Light Infantry) and others, is wholly in banks 
and beaches of sand, gravel, and clay. I have seen them 16 
miles east of that river : there the under portions are greyish 
blue, and are both amorphous and in horizontal flakes ; their 
upper parts are of sand and primitive pebbles, capped with 
loam, bearing oak, sumach, and elm. At the west end of 
these cliffs, the pebbles become very large, while on the east 
they decline into low mounds of fine sand. On the beach in 
their front are rolled masses of greenstone, porphyry, and 
other rocks belonging to Lake Huron. The sand on the 
north-east shores of the lake, in such high mounds, is coarse, 
but nearly pure. The beds of red clay in that neighbourhood, 
however, contain many angular masses of black limestone 
and primitive blocks ; and the beaches, here and there, have 
large fragments of Labrador feldspar and white crystalline 

* Expedition to the Source of St. Peter's River, vol. i. p. 141. 
t Stickney. Silliman's Journal, vol. i. and ii. 

General Description of Lake Erie. 373 

The situation in the geological series of the fixed rocks of 
Lake Erie (limestones and sandstone) is doubtful at the south- 
west end, and unexamined in the centre — between Presqu'isle 
and Sandusky ; but at the north-east end of the lake, it has 
been well ascertained. The chasm of the river Niagara lays 
bare their connection with the saliferous sandstones below; 
and the State of New York continues the development down 
to the primitive rocks at the east end of Lake Ontario. These 
strata are in succession from above, as follows : — 

Calcareous Shale (pyritous) Lakes Erie and Cayuga. 

Comitiferous Limestone Erie and River Niagara. 

Geodiferous Limestone {^'ontariof^*™ '""' ^''^^ 

^EatonT'''^^™'.^'!*^ ^" ^'''"^^'■°"''' °[ jNiagara, Genesee, Lockport. 
Ferriferous and Saliferous Sandstone . . Niagara, Genesee, &c. 

Millstone Grit (Eaton) L ake Ontario, near Utica,&c. 

Metalliferous Greywacke (Eaton) . . . Ditto. 

Carboniferous Limestone (Metalliferous of i ^^^^ ^^^ ^^ j^ake Ontario. 

Jiaton) J 

WhiteSandstone and Conglomerate Quartz iNorth-east end of LakeOn- 
and Calcareous .... I tario, and its outlet. 

While the gneiss supporting these rocks, wherever I have 
seen it, is at an high angle, they are very nearly horizontal ; 
inclining from the nearest primitive ranges, so as to allow them 
to appear in succession, at intervals, in the lakes and their 
vicinity at the same level, the oldest being on the east and 
north, and the newest in the opposite quarters. Their extent 
south and west are at present quite unknown. They are spread 
out in close contact (many, if not all, passing into each other) 
in very slightly concave layers of vast superficial dimensions, 
but of comparatively small thickness. It is probable that on 
the north of Lake Erie the strata dip south-easterly from the 
apparently greater elevation of the salt-rocks of that lake above 
those of Ontario. It is almost certain that all these strata un- 
derlay both these lakes, and Iheir intervening isthmus ; for 
although the salt rocks have not yet been seen on the north, nu- 
merous brine-springs sufficiently attest their presence. 

The newest rock in Lake Erie is the shale placed at the head 
of the above fist. It has been noticed by Mr. Amos Eaton, and 

374 Oeneral Description of Lake Erie. 

described by him thus*: — It is a siliceous or calcareous grey 
rock, with aluminous cement, either slaty or in blocks, and 
abounding in iron pyrites and petrifactions ; the latter some- 
times being composed of the former. He has named it " se- 
condary pyritiferous rock." In Cayuga Lake, according to Mr. 
Eaton, these strata contain numerous thin horizontal seams of 
bituminous and sulphureous coal, embraced by narrow layers 
of iron pyrites, (which last alone is found in Lake Erie ;) where- 
ever these are exposed, the adjoining rock was more or less 
covered with Epsom salts, copperas, and alum. 

*• This rock occurs on the north shore only of Lake Erie, 
from its south-east corner in Hamburgh, eight miles from 
Buffalo, with very little interruption, to Sturgeon Point. 
It appears from the ** Travels of Engineer D. Thomas, that 
the same rock borders the lake to Cattaranghus, and pro- 
bably much farther/' — {Eaton, p. 143.) In fact, according 
to Dr. Mitchell, of New York-j-, it exists at Presqu'isle, 
90 miles from the foot of the lake. Mr. Eaton continues, 
" We see but little of the shelly rock, rarely exceeding twelve 
feet in height, until we come to within about three miles of 
Eighteen-mile Creek. On both sides of this creek the rock 
is very similar. The loose scaly slate occupies about 25 feet 
of the lower part, and the ranges of square-faced blocks of 
limestone occupy about the same number of feet above, fre- 
quently interrupted by the slate." (Eaton, p. 143.) The slaty 
part is remarkable for its finely preserved organic remains : 
both kinds, however, contain a great and equal number. They 
are terebratulae, favasites, turbinolie, milleporites, trilobites 
encrinites, orthocense. (Eaton.) Mr. Leseur, of Philadelphia, 
found in the compact portion of this limestone, near Eighteen- 
mile Creek, a univalve, which he has erected into a new genus, 
with two species. He describes them thus : — Genus Maclurite. 
Shell discoidal, much depressed, unilocular ; spire not ele- 
vated, flat ; umbilicus very large, with a groove formed by the 
projection of the proceeding whorls ; not crenulated. 

Species I. M. magna. Shell obtusely carinated on the ex- 
terior upper edge, whorls rapidly increasing in size ; aperture 

* Geological Survey of the District axjoining the Erie Canal, p. 38. 
t Minerva of New Work, 1824. 

Qm&ral Description of Lake Erie, 375 

on the left, irregularly oval, horizontally depressed above, lips 
not reflected. 

II. M. bicarinata. Whorls acutely carinated on the middle 
above, and obsoletely carinated beneath. — Journal of Nat. 
Science, Philad. vol. i. p. 311. 

The shale ** embraces numerous globular concretions^ con- 
sisting chiefly of a kind of wacke. 

" On breaking a great number of them, which were from an 
inch to a foot in diameter, I found that they all contained some 
sort of nucleus different from the inclosing matter. The nu- 
cleus is frequently the irregular fragment of a petrifaction ; 
sometimes of limestone, very unlike that variety which is con- 
nected with this stratum in layers." {Eaton, p. 145.) The 
iron pyrites ** is mostly attached to the under surface of the 
layers, in a stalactitic or mammillary form. It is a bright 
golden yellow coating, and forms immense quantities of petri- 
factions." (P. 1440 

This Well characterized rock is seen at Black Rock, on the 
River Niagara, to rest upon the chertzy limestone, next to be 
described, which prevails on the north shore of Lake Erie for 
at least 55 miles from that river ; but only in platforms and a 
few ledges. Whether the transition be sudden or gradual, I 
am unable to say, never having seen the pyritous shale. This 
limestone, denominated by Mr. Eaton " cornitiferous," is 
finely displayed at Black Rock, near the head of the River 
Niagara. At this village the river bank is a low cliff, sur- 
mounted by a rough, steep, grassy slope, cut through, near 
Major Eraser's house, by the channel of a creek. Just above 
the ferry here, there are, at water-mark, or a little above, 
six feet of fine grained blue and pale brown, very conchoidal 
limestone, without chertz or other foreign matters ; then 
gradually horizontal streaks, of a pale grey colour, appear in 
the limestone, which, rapidly increasing in number and size, 
produce, for nine feet higher, a very pale brown rock, filled 
with small geodes of copper pyrites, calcspar, and a large 
quantity of foliated strontian, imbedded in thin angular masses 
of a white colour. 1 observed, in this part of the cliff, several 
small producti ; but the most numerous traces of animal life 
are the cavities impressed by the casts of turbinoUae, which 

376: General Description of Lake Erie. 

have subsequently disappeared. These impressions are small, 
and are distributed in thin horizontal layers. This pale stratum 
ceases suddenly upwards, and, in a few parts, is replaced at 
once by a calcareous pudding-stone, coated and penetrated by 
a coppery-green substance. The nodules are small, and too 
much altered for me to ascertain the stratum to which they 
might belong. I saw them in 1824. The extensive works 
now carried on at Black Rock may have, by this time, laid 
open a larger and less disintegrated portion of this pudding- 
stone. The most common covering of the pale limestone is 
a black shale, usually six inches thick, horizontal, with gentle 
undulations ; succeeded by a dark-brown limestone, with dark 
chertz ; at first in small kidneys, which soon coalesce and 
form lumps, strings, and finally flakes and layers of irregular 
thickness, and with a waving horizontality. The chertz, 
sometimes pale, increases in quantity upwards, until (near the 
level of the village) it becomes the greatest part of the rock, 
in thick shining seams, of almost pure flint ; the calcareous 
intervals also containing small masses of chertz. Some of 
the larger knots of chertz shew a distinct madreporic structure, 
with small cells. Interspersed in the calcareous portions are 
producti, terebratulse, corallines, various retepores, turbinoiae, 
all composed of chertzy. I have seen a calymene (Blumenb..^) 
from this rock. Some hundred yards above the spot where I 
made the above observations, the chertzy limestone is at the 
water-mark ; a fact accounted for by the difference of level at 
the two places, assisted, perhaps, by a slight dip in the rock 

This kind of limestone I carefully traced from Black Rock, 
along the north shore of Lake Erie for 55 miles, and from the 
nature of the country was enabled to see that, for several miles 
westward, no remarkable change took place. About, and for 
a few miles to the west of Fort Erie, the rock is excessively 
charged with flint, great portions of which being interspersed 
with the fossils occurring at Black Rock. Captain Bolton, 
R.E., shewed me some fine trilobites, and a trochus from this 
place. On the way to Grand River it becomes paler occasion- 
ally, and varies much in the amount of its chertz. From 
Forsyth's Point to Steel's Tavern, (seven miles) the organic 

.General Description of Lake Erie. 377 

remains are not so plentiful ; but are of the same kind. West 
of Grand River, the limestone only seemed to differ in the 
diminished proportion of chertz, this substance, however, 
being still disposed in the same manner as before. The fossils 
here are both of chertz and granular carbonate of lime. The 
turbinoliai differ much in their size. They are all fragments, 
and they are of a tapering form. Two feet are here a common, 
but I believe hitherto an unexampled, length. They are often 
only as many inches. The greatest diameter that I met with 
was four inches. They are of very various shapes ; as straight, 
gently or very much curved, and they frequently are bent 
suddenly at right angles, which I have never seen anywhere 
else. The coral often occupies many square feet of the rock, 
and are either placed vertically, or radiate from a centre. 
Common cellular madrepore, in round balls of radiating cells, 
2 to 12 inches in diameter, are frequent. Millepore coral, of 
large size and length, with triangular foramina, is very common, 
as are^ incrinites. I met with a few producti similar to the P. 
lobatus of Sowerby. PI. 418. 

This chertzy limestone is sufficiently described in the above 
paragraphs *. According to Mr. Eaton, it is repeatedly seen 
in the state of New York. Its connexion with the inferior 
rocks in Lake Erie has not been investigated, and, I believe, 
is completely concealed ; but at Black Rock, close at hand, 
we have seen it to cease suddenly, and to rest in some places 
on pudding-stone. I consider it and the next rock below to 
be deposited nearly at the same time ; from their conformable- 
ness, the similarity of their contents, and from the small 
quantity and partial distribution of the pudding-stone. 

Of the brown limestone in the middle of the south shore 
of this lake, I know very little. I have seen it frequently from 
a short distance, bounding the lake in pretty thick horizontal 
layers. Mr. Maclure visited it many years ago ; and found 
caryophyllites and large terebratulae in it. Eight miles east of 

* Sir Peregrine Maitland mentioned to me, that a considerable vein 
of galena is found in the banks of the Grand River, 50 to GO miles up. 
It is possibly in this limes lone, as the river, to its head, passes over 
calcareous rocks. 

378 General Description of Lake Erie. 

Cleaveland, there is, a little way from the lake, and some feet 
above its level, some strata of greyish-white sandstone, rather 
fine-grained, and moderately hard. It is used for grindstones. ' 
I saw no organic remains in the fragments shewn to me. I had 
no opportunity of ascertaining its relations with the calcareous 
rocks around. 

The limestone of the head of the lake, including Sandusky 
Bay and Peninsula, Put-in-bay islands, the mouth of the River 
Detroit, and its contiguous islands, Celeron and Grosse Isle, is 
nearly the same everywhere. Its relative age is rendered 
doubtful by its not having yet been seen in juxtaposition with 
other rocks, and by the little aid afforded by its mineral and 
fossil contents. The following circumstances, however, seem 
to place it just above the sandstones connected with the salt 
formation. These are, its mineralogical resemblance to a rock 
on the River Niagara, of known relations, its containing consi- 
derable quantities of gypsum, the proximity of salt springs, and 
its great remoteness from primitive formations, 280 to 300 

It is of a pale grey, or of a greyish straw colour, homoge- 
neous, granular, and rather soft. It is in thick, apparently hori- 
zontal layers, and is seldom slaty. It is occasionally cavernous. 
In the immediate vicinity of masses of strontian, the specific 
gravity is sometimes 3 and 3.3, and then it is of a white colour. 
In other places, it is, as usual, about 2.6. Mr. Bird, Astro- 
nomer to the Boundary Commission, met with a gray limestone 
here, which was perfectly dry, and nearly inodorous, when 
cold, but which, when warmed, became covered with a slight 
exudation of petroleum, and had the smell peculiar to that 

The Bass islands contain a cave, which is entered by a round 
hole a yard wide, gradually widening for 50 feet, when it opens 
into a circular space 100 feet in diameter and 7 feet high. 
The roof is studded with brown stalactites, frequently hollow, 
and seldom more than three-fourths of an inch thick, or longer 
than three inches. The floor is covered in a similar manner*. 

* This account I received when near the place, in 1819, from Lieut, 
Dix, aide-de-camp to the American General, Brown. 

General Description of Lake Erie, 379 

Persons at Moy (opposite to Detroit) have shewn me conical 
stalactites from the cavern, 10 inches long by 7 inches at the 

For considerable s{)aces, this limestone is free from foreign 
matters of any kind. At Sandusky village, and Peninsula, and, 
I doubt not, at many other places, it contains a profusion of 
organic remains, consisting of terebratulae, terbinoliaB, fragments 
of trilobites, probably asaphs, and cellular madrepores, exactly 
the same as those found in the blocks of pale limestone in the 
large diluvial mounds of Corlaer's Hook, near New York, and 
accompanied by producti. They are in balls, composed wholly 
of cells radiating from a point in their circumference. The 
cells have sides, and are filled with white calcspar. 

Near Hat Point, on Sandusky Peninsula, I met with a very 
fine cast of a Cardium Hibernicum. 

My friend, Dr. Lyons, staff surgeon, favoured me with 
another from this part of Lake Erie, but the exact spot I do 
not know. 

About a mile above Amherstburgh, on the river Detroit, and 
about half a mile from the river bank, there is, in the woods, a 
quarry of this limestone abounding in fossils ; but I only ob- 
served some turbos, and the smaller valves of producti, in 
addition to those mentioned above. I have to thank Assistant 
Commissary-General Hare for a small but valuable collection 
from this quarry. 

Of accidental minerals, I have only observed strontian : it is 
sometimes associated with calcspar in trihedral pyramids, and in 
rhombs. Major Delafield has shewn me fibrous gypsum from 
Sandusky Bay, but I am ignorant of the circumstances under 
which it exists. 

The chief localities for strontian in this limestone are. Moss 
Island, the Miami River (Schoolcraft), and Celeron and Grosse 
Islands. It may occur elsewhere, but probably not in great 
quantities, or, as in the case of the deposits now known, it 
would have been discovered by the American surveying party 
of the Boundary Commission — it is the foliated variety. 

In a cliff 50 feet high, on the east side of Moss Island, and 
at mid-height there is a vein (or rather ramifying mass) of it 


General Description of Lake Erie. 

four feet* in greatest thickness, and extending nearly horizon- 
tally for 18 or 20 yards, terminates a foot thick. It consists of 
promiscuously aggregated bundles of crystals united laterally, 
closely compacted together at the large end of the vein, more 
loosely in other parts, and having interstices lined with free 
crystals. The mass is of a white and bluish white colour, im- 
perfectly translucent. The crystals composing it are from one to 
four inches long, and from one-fifth to half an inch in breadth. 
Major Delafield states the cavity in the massive end of the vein 
to be circular, and three feet in diameter. He found its arch, 
sides, and floor, to be beautifully studded with pendent crystals, 
from six ounces to six pounds in weight, and covered Avith a 
considerable quantity of brown clay and loam. These crys- 
tals are usually flattened hexahedral prisms. In the Journal 
of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences (vol. ii. 
p. 300) Dr. Gerard Troost has described some of these. He 
finds their primitive form to be a straight prism, with a rhom- 
boidal base, of which the angles are 104°, 48', and 75°, 12' (fig. 
I.) He names a variety of this — ^' Sulphat of strontian trape- 


zienne " AEP (fig. II.) The inclination upon the faces are, of 








* I was at this spot in 1821 for a few minutes in company with Major 
Delafield ; but, being unexpectedly called away, was prevented from making 
accurate observations. The dimensions in the text are from Major D. 
Silliman's Journal, vol. iv. p. 279. 

General Description of Lake Erie. 381 

O upon P, 128° 31'— of O upon o, 77° 2— of O upon the 
returning face, 102° 58'— of d upon d, 101° 32'. 


Another is, '♦ Sulphate of strontian epointee MAEP" (fig. 

III). It is " the former, having the soHd angles deeply trun- 
cated, forming faces parallel to the sides of the primitive rhom- 
boidal prism. The inclination of M upon M is 104° 48' ;— that 
of the other faces coincides with the inclinations of the * trape- 
zienne.* The crystals are translucent in a great degree, ap- 
proaching to transparent, and of a bluish-white colour. The 
size of the crystals is large. I have seen fragments belonging 
to crystals which must have been four or five inches long, be- 
longing to the sub-variety ' trapezienne elargie.' The surfaces 
of the faces oo are usually dull, of a more opaque milky white 
than the remainder of the faces, which have a remarkably fine 
lustre ; the faces corresponding with those of the primitive 
rhomboidal prism, as P and M, display a fine iridescent 

The strontian of the Miami river occurs at Fort Meigs, and 
was first made known by Mr. Schoolcraft. I am not aware of 
any account of this locality having yet been published. The 
crystals Mr. Schoolcraft showed me are precisely the same as 
the smaller of those in the cavity at Moss Island in Lake Erie. 
In Celeron and Grosse Islands it is found in small balls and 
geodes ; at the former in confused crystalline masses — at the 
latter, it lines cavities in crystals seldom exceeding an inch and 
a half in length, and terminating by a lanciform opaque white 
point, more or less disintegrated. Their colour is a fine sky- 
blue, and their lustre and transparency are considerable. The 
strontian is only sparingly scattered through this limestone. It 
is best characterised and most plentiful in a quarry at the lower 
end of Grosse Island. The reefs of rock, crossing the river 
Detroit above the adjacent island of Boisblanc, show faint 
traces of strontian. It is remarkable that wherever there are 
organic remains there is no strontian, and vice versa ; but this 
only applies to Lake Erie and its vicinity — for the limestones 
of Lakes Huron and Simcoe exhibit both together in the same 

All that is known of the fixed rocks of Lake Erie, I believe 
I have now stated. It remains to be mentioned that on its 

OCT.— DKC. 1828. 2 D 

382 General Description of Lake Erie. 

north coast, in Orford and Camden, there are brine springs. — 
(Gourlaifs Reports, vol. i. p. 295.) These townships are on 
the river Thames, and not far from Lake St. Clair. Salt springs 
are also met with, accompanied by gypsum, in Norwich {Gourl. 
Rep., V. i. p, 333), at the head of Otter Creek near Long Point, 
and in Canboro, Haldimand, Dumfries, and Waterloo, on the 
river Ouse, together with very large beds of granular gypsum 
in Dumfries, which have been for some time quarried for agri- 
cultural purposes.— (GowW. Rep. v. i., p. 382, 383, 386, 453.) 

On the south shore of this lake, Mr. Kilbourne, in his Ga 
zetteer of Ohio, says ** that salt springs have been discovered 
and worked to a very considerable extent on the waters of the 
Killbuck in the county of Wayne^' — on Yellow Creek, in Jeffer- 
son countyt — on Alum Creek, in Delaware county — on Mus- 
kingham river, a few miles below Zanesville, and in various 
other places," 

No steady inquiries have been made for indications of salt in 
these remote countries, which are still principally wood and 
morass. Those which chance has brought to light have never 
been recorded. We need not, therefore, be surprised to find our 
enumeration of localities so scanty. 

Bog iron ore is abundant in the wet grounds over the whole 
north shore of Lake Erie, and probably on the south also. 
The chief townships in which it is found, in the Canadian 
territories, are Westminster, Dorchester, Norwich, Burford, 
Middleton, Charlotteville, Woodhouse, Bayham, and Bertie. 
— (^Gourlay^s Reports,.) 

Petroleum springs are reported by the Moravian missionary 
Denke in Orford and Camden. — (^Gourl. R., v. i., p. 295.) 
Springs of sulphuretted hydrogen are numerous everywhere. 

* Fifty-five to sixty miles from Sandusky, 
[t Seventy to seventy-five miles from Lake Erie at Presqu'isle. 


Account of a Luminous Animalcule, By Captain Home, R.N. 
F.R.S., &c. in a Letter to the Editor. 

Ham, Dec. 6, 1828. 
My dear Sir, 

According to your desire I send you the following account: 
Being at Lancing on the coast of Sussex in October 1827, 
I considered it a good opportunity to examine into the cause of 
the light which I had often before observed so brilliant in the 
sea-weed thrown upon the beach. 

It had blown hard from the south-west on the 8th and three 
following days, and so great a quantity of weed had been 
thrown up, that the beach was covered with it to more than 
two feet deep in many places ; it appeared for the most part to 
be of the same species. After it was dark, I collected a small 
quantity of the most brilliant, and found it always to be that 
which had been left at the first of the ebb, and was only moist, 
rather than that just washed up. This portion was taken into 
a dark room, where I picked out a single spark, the brightest 
that could be found, and carried it to the next room where 
there was a candle. After seeing the shape of the weed in my 
hand, I returned and picked off every thing, leaving that only 
on which the light appeared, keeping my eye on it through 
a common lens, till I was so near the candle as to lose the 
light upon the weed. In this manner I ascertained that it was 
produced by a minute body adhering to the sea-weed, which I 
am informed by Mr. Brown is Sertularia volubilis of Ellis 
(Clytia volubilis of Lamouroux.) 

The light would remain steady sometimes for about five 
seconds, often less, and when it ceased, was renewed by 
touching it with the finger. I immediately made a sketch of it 
as it appeared in a small microscope I had carried with me. 

I had still my doubts that what I had seen was the cause 
of the light, but was convinced of it after repeating the same 
observations for the five evenings I remained at Lancing. 

Being anxious to examine these bodies in daylight, I entirely 
darkened a room, but was surprised to find they gave no light 
whatever ; yet the same weed, kept till the evening, was as 
brilliant as any I had seen. 

2 D 2 

384 Captain Home on a Luminous Animalcule, 

On my return to town, T brought with me a basket full of 
weed fresh that morning from the beach, and forwarded it the 
same evening to Mr. Bauer, who eraployed that and the three 

' The newly-discovered Temple at Cadachio, 385 

following evenings examining its contents. He has been so 
kind as to make a drawing of it, which will explain their ap- 
pearance far more clearly than any thing that I can say*. 
They are engraved and described by Ellis in the Philosophical 
TransactionSf vol. Ivii. and in his Corallines and Zoophytes ; 
but as I have no where seen them described as luminous, I 
have ventured to give you this account, as it is interesting to 
you, and I am, my dear Sir, 

Very truly yours, 

EvERARD Home. 

The Newly Discovered Temple at Cadachioy in the Island of 
Corfu, illustrated by William Railton, Architect. Folio, 
London. Priestley and Weale. 1828. 

At Cadachio, situate about a mile and a half to the south-east 
of the city of Corfu, in the Ionian island of that name, are 
springs which rise in a ravine of Mount Ascension, at the foot 
of which, on the edge of the sea, is a fountain or reservoir into 
which the water they supply is received, and which is resorted 
to by the ships which frequent the adjacent port, in order to 
fill their casks. 

In the autumn of 1822, the springs, upon which, among other 
vessels, those of the British navy depend for water, w^ere 
unusually low ; and the government, in consequence, directed 
that a party of engineers, under the orders of Colonel Whitmore, 
should endeavour to free the mouth of the ravine from that 
accumulation of soil which appears to be annually brought 
down, and of which the quantity appeared to have impeded or, 
perhaps, diverted the descent or course of the waters. In the 
process of excavation, a Doric column was discovered in situ ; 
and that event induced Colonel Whitmore to make a search, 
by which was brought to light the ground plan of a temple. 
The columns of the west, or land-side, were in their places ; 
as were also five on the south, and two on the north, but in a 
very mutilated state. " The walls of the cella have been re- 

* We have taken our two wood cuts from this beautiful drawing, and 
regret our inability to give the other figure. 

386 The newly-discovered Temple at Cadachio. 

moved ; in the interior there are some curious remains of an 
altar ;" but ** the remainder of the building, together with thfe 
cliff upon which that part of it stood, has fallen into the sea. 
The front of the building faced the sea, with an east-south-east 
aspect ; and the platform at the top of the cliff, upon which the 
temple was erected, stands at the level of about a hundred feet 
above the sea. 

Colonel Whitmore, to whose classical taste and erudition 
Mr. Railton and the public are indebted for some account 
both of the discovery, and of his own conjectures con- 
cerning the history of the temple, relates, that " the excava- 
tion has further brought to light several female heads, and a 
small leg, in terra cotta, which," the Colonel observes, ^' might 
have been either votive offerings, or portions of the jointed toys 
not unfrequent in the tombs of children : there have been also 
found earthen cones, the foot of a statue, unguentaries and liba- 
tories, brazen paterae, scarabaei, glass beads, ivory, copper, 
iron and lead ; a bronze four-spoked wheel (which was the 
emblem of Nemesis), weights, the heads of arrows, pieces of 
ear-rings, and a number of coins of Epirus, Apollonia, Corinth, 
Syracuse, and Coracya. The cones are supposed to have been 
attached to the necks of cattle, and the scarabaei to have been 
worn by the soldiers as amulets." The temple was roofed, and 
covered with tiles, many of which have proper names impressed 
on them ; and probably they were those of the chief magistrates 
during its construction or renovation. Among them are the 
following : — Aristomenes, Thersia, Damon, &c. 

From the forms of the letters composing these names, as 
well as from the architecture, its proportions, &c. &c. a very 
remote construction is attributed to this temple ; and Colonel 
Whitmore, from a comparison of these latter peculiarities with 
those which are remarked in the Parthenon, and in the Temple 
of Theseus, ventures to assign it to a similar date ; that is, to 
about the middle of the fifth century before Christ. As fur- 
ther evidence, however, of the antiquity of this temple, Colonel 
W. appeals to an inscription extant in the Museum at Ve- 
rona, and already edited by Maffei, in his Museum Veronense ; 
which inscription appears to refer to this identical temple at 

The newly-discovered Temple at Cadachio. 387 

The inscription has been translated from the Doric into 
Latin by MafFei, and into Italian from the Latin, by Mustoxidi ; 
it is here presented to us by Mr. Railton, in the classical 
Greek, with the English translation of Colonel Whitmore : 





.... EPOI 

** This inscription commemorates the sanction of the Cor- 
cyrean republic of the construction of certain public works. 
It details the prices of or costs of tin, lead, brass, cartage, 
excavation, and workmanship ; the expense of a brazen ser- 
pent, of nitre for the altar, the erection of an obelisk, and a 
retaining wall built by Metrodorus. By it the magistrates 
approve of what has been executed. They state also the re- 
moval of the roof of the temple ; the abduction of the water- 
courses, lest the force of the springs should injure the retaining 
wall ; and although much is obliterated, intimate that the im- 
petus of the flowing waters was to be diverted from the temple 
towards the docks and store-houses." 

Many other particulars are here given in the publication of 
Mr. Railton, inclusive of Colonel Whitmore's reasons for sup- 

388 Thenewly'discovered Temple at Cadachio, 

posing the temple to have belonged to Apollo, rather than to 
iEsculapius, as imagined by Maffei. In either of these cases, 
however, it appears certain, that the very springs which draw 
modern attention to the spot, were the occasion, from an im- 
puted sanctity, of the building this temple in the remarkable 
situation which it occupies ; the mouth of a ravine, where 
anciently the water and now the soil brought down, were the 
subjects of continual difficulty and repair. Col. W. supposes 
the "nitre" of the inscription to mean natron; and observes, 
that it is " remarkable that the altar still exhibits, after the 
lapse of twenty-two centuries, fragments of a coating that 
seems to contain soda." 

Mr. Railton being at Corfu in the spring of 1825, waiting for 
an opportunity to proceed on a professional tour through Greece 
and Egypt, found the engineers at work, for the second time, in 
clearing away the soil, which, coming down the ravine, had 
again buried the temple ; and, upon that occasion, made his 
measurements and drawings. Returning to England at the 
close of last year, and finding that no detailed drawings had 
hitherto been given of it, he has been induced to offer the 
plates which compose the elegant fascicuMs before us. 

The plates are five in number, and reflect the highest credit 
upon Mr. Railton's professional taste, talents, and studies. 
The first discovers the ground-plan of the building ; the se- 
cond, a restoration of the part toward the sea ; and the third, 
fourth, and fifth, details of the order, with the addition of a 
" Doric capital found in a ruined church within the French 
lines ; and which," as observed by Mr.Railton, " has very much 
the character of the columns of the pseudodipteral and hex- 
astyle temples at Psestum." It appears certain that in this 
publication, Mr. Railton has afforded the materials of much 
pleasure and information ; not only to his professional brethren, 
but to every lover of the fine arts, and to every classical 

389 :: 


i. Elementary View of M^Undulatory Theory of Light, 
By Mr. Fresnel. 

[Continued from the Number for September.] 

Colours of Crystallized Plates. 

When a pencil of polarised light passes through a rhom- 
boid of calcarious spar, the principal section of which is 
parallel to the plane of polarisation, it is well known that 
the extraordinary image disappears : but it is reproduced 
when we place before the rhomboid a crystallized j^late, 
possessed of the property of double refraction, and of which 
the principal section is neither parallel nor perpendicular to 
the primitive plane of polarisation : its intensity becomes even 
equal to that of the ordinary image, when this principal 
section makes an angle of 45° with the primitive plane. 
In this case, as well as in the others, both the images are 
white, if the interposed plate is thick enough, that is, if its 
thickness is not less than one fiftieth of an inch, when it is 
of rock crystal or sulfate of lime ; but when it is thinner, 
the two images are tinted with complementary colours, the 
nature of which varies with the thickness of the plate, though 
their brightness only is changed when it is turned round in 
its plane, keeping it always perpendicular to the incident 

This brilliant discovery, for which we are indebted to Mr. 
Arago, has since occupied much of the attention of all the 
natural philosophers of Europe, and particularly of Mr. 
BiOT, Dr. Young, and Dr. Brewster, who have done the 
most in discovering the laws of the phenomena. Mr. Biot 
first observed that the colours of the crystallized plates fol- 
lowed, with respect to their thicknesses, the same laws as 
the colours of the Newtonian rings; that is to say, that the 
thicknesses of two crystallized plates of the same nature, 
which exhibited any two tints, were to each other as the 

390 Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 

thicknesses of the plates of air which reflect similar tints in 
the coloured rings. A short time after the publication of 
the valuable memoirs of Mr. Biot on this subject. Dr. 
Young remarked, that the difference of the paths of the 
ordinary and extraordinary pencil, transmitted by a crystal- 
lized plate, was precisely equal to that of the paths of the 
rays reflected at the first and second surface of the plate of 
air which affords the same colour ; and that this numerical 
identity remained unchanged in every possible inclination of 
the rays to the axis of the crystal. This very important 
theoretical observation, which excited but little attention 
when it was first published, served to give a new proof of 
the fecundity of the principle of interference, as it established 
the most intimate numerical relation between two classes of 
phenomena, greatly differing from each other, as well in 
the great disproportion of the thickness of the crystallized 
plates, and the plates of air which exhibit the same colours, 
as in the diversity of the circumstances necessary for their 

Dr. YouNa demonstrated only by his calculations that the 
colours of the crystallized plates were to be attributed to 
the interference of the ordinary with the extraordinary un- 
dulations : he did not attempt to explain in what circum- 
stances this interference was possible, or why it was necessary 
that the light should be polarised before its entrance into 
the crystal, and should receive a new polarisation after its 
emersion ; or how the intensity of the tints varied with the 
relative direction of the primitive plane of the principal sec- 
tion of the plate and that of the rhomboid. The principal 
object of the memoir which I submitted to the Academy of 
Sciences, the 7th of October, 1816, and of the supplement 
added to it in the month of January, 1818, was to explain the 
influence of these different circumstances, and to represent 
the laws of the phenomenon by general formulas, which should 
give for each image the intensity of the different kinds of 
coloured ray. . I shall now explain this theory, continuing to 
refer to experiment for the bases on which it is founded ; and 
for the sake of greater simplicity, I shall suppose the light 
to be homogeneous. 

Astronomical and Nautical Collections. 391 

If we polarise by reflection at the surface of a plate of 
glass, blackened at its second surface, the diverging rays 
proceeding from a luminous point, and then cause them to 
pass through two rhomboids of equal thickness, placed one 
before the other, and having their principal sections perpen- 
dicular to each other, and at the same time inclined in an 
angle of 45° to the plane of reflection, it is known that the 
two pencils, produced by this pair of rhomboids, can only ex- 
hibit fringes when they are brought back to common planes 
of polarisation, by the assistance of a third rhomboid, or a 
pile of glass placed before or behind the lens. The most 
advantageous direction of the principal section of the third 
rhomboid is that which makes an angle of 45° with the prin- 
cipal sections of the two others; because then each of the 
two pencils which are emitted by these is divided equally 
into the ordinary and extraordinary images produced by the 
third rhomboid ; and this equality of the two systems of un- 
dulations, which interfere in each image, renders the points 
of complete discordance as dark as possible : and if the light 
were perfectly homogeneous, they would in this case be com- 
pletely black. The apparatus being thus arranged, if we 
consider any one point in the group of fringes, that, for ex- 
ample, which occupies the middle, and answers to equal paths 
described by the two constituent pencils of each image, it 
may be remarked that there is a maximum of light in the 
ordinary image, when the principal section of the rhomboid 
is parallel to the primitive plane of polarisation, which we 
may call horizontal, and that the same point, on the contrary, 
is black in the extraordinary image, that is, the light is re- 
duced to 0. It is restored by degrees as the rhomboid is 
turned, and its intensity augments in proportion as the prin- 
cipal section is removed from the horizontal direction:, when 
it is inclined in an angle of 45°, the light of this point is as 
great in the ordinary as in the extraordinary image : at last 
it disappears entirely in the ordinary image, and becomes a 
maximum in the extraordinary, when the principal section is 
vertical. We see then that the whole light, collected in this 
point, presents all the characters of a complete polarisation 
in a horizontal plane. If we now consider the point which 
answers to the difl'erence of a quarter of an undulation in the 

392 Astronomical arid Nautical Collections, 

progress of the two pencils, we shall find that it always 
preserves equal intensities in the two images, as we turn the 
rhomboid, and that its light acts as if it had been completely- 
depolarised. Passing now to the point which answers to the 
difference of half an undulation between the two systems of 
waves, we shall find it perfectly dark in the ordinary image, 
and at its maximum of brightness in the extraordinary, when 
the principal section of the rhomboid is horizontal, and when 
it is vertical wholly dark in the extraordinary image, and at 
its maximum of brightness in the other ; so that all the light 
collected in this point is polarised vertically. Continuing to 
go through the different points of interference of